Monday, February 19, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Notes from the CN Strike

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CN logo About 2,800 CN conductors and yard workers have been on strike since the 10th; here are some stories about the strike that have accumulated over the past week:

A report by Brent Jang in today’s Globe and Mail notes the increasing impact of the strike on CN’s customers; CN is operating with managers at half its normal capacity. CBC News had a similar story last Friday. In a nutshell: just-in-time delivery means that plant shutdowns occur when the steady flow is disrupted.

CN has been trying to get the strike declared illegal; the IRB hearing resumes tomorrow took place today. Earlier news coverage: 1, 2, 3. For its part, the federal government won’t intervene.

Some unusual stories in the meantime. A retired rail conductor with a heart condition (he’s on a medical pension) claims that CN tried to hire him for the duration of the strike; it’d be illegal, he says, for him to work.

And — are you sitting down? — two trains derailed derailed last Tuesday: one in Alberta, outside Edmonton; one in B.C., outside Prince George. The conductors were management replacements; the locomotive engineers were regular employees. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether this is strike-related or, well, just CN.

The striking workers are represented by the United Transportation Union. Pick through the UTU’s news archives and you’ll find more stories from various press sources. Meanwhile, UTU’s Local 1453 from Jasper, Alberta, has uploaded a video with a Twisted Sister soundtrack to YouTube.

For their part, CN has launched a labour negotiations web site; see also the strike updates posted here.

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