MONTREAL, Dec. 2, 2009 — The strike by locomotive engineers at CN (TSX: CNR)(NYSE: CNI) will end immediately as a result of an agreement to resolve the parties’ contractual disagreements through further negotiations and, if necessary, binding arbitration. The union began its strike Nov. 28.
E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer, said: “CN is pleased that an agreement has been reached to end the strike by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) immediately and to move forward with a process that gives the parties flexibility to negotiate issues further, but also ensures finality through binding arbitration of issues that remain in dispute. We have always sought, since starting negotiations 14 months ago, to achieve a settlement with the TCRC through negotiations or binding arbitration.
“I also thank the many CN employees who have stepped forward during the unfortunate labour dispute to keep the company’s freight operations going. Keeping our trains running has been important to our customers and indeed the entire Canadian economy.”
CN and the TCRC have agreed to continue negotiations to resolve all issues related to wages, benefits and work rules. If there is no agreement, the parties’ wages and benefits offers will be subject to final, binding arbitration.
The parties can also agree to submit work-rule issues to binding arbitration but only if they mutually agree on the ones that should be subject to arbitration. If there is no agreement, the issues in dispute will not be subject to arbitration.
As part of this process, CN will roll back the monthly mileage cap for locomotive engineers to the previous 3,800 miles from the 4,300-mile cap initiated Nov. 28, and withdraw its plan to apply a 1.5 per cent wage increase to TCRC members. The union’s current contract expired on Dec. 31, 2008.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. CN cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk, uncertainties and assumptions. Implicit in these statements, particularly in respect of long-term growth opportunities, is the Company’s assumption that such growth opportunities are less affected by the current situation in the North American and global economies. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that the current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. The Company cautions that its results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the effects of adverse general economic and business conditions, including the current deep recession in the North American economy and the global economic contraction in 2009, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” in CN’s annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN’s website, for a summary of major risks.
CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.
CN – Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries – spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company’s website at www.cn.ca.