More Than 3,000 Rail Workers Walk Off The Job Across Canada

Canada is in the midst of a rail strike.

About 3,200 Canadian National Railway (TSX;CNR) conductors, trainpersons and yard workers are now on strike after the union and company failed to reach a deal by a midnight deadline. The strike impacts the movement of goods and commodities throughout Canada and into the U.S.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the union representing the employees, gave the required 72-hour strike notice last weekend. Union representative Christopher Monette says that, despite the strike, members are still in talks with CN management in hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement and ending the labour disruption quickly.

The union has said that passenger rail service in the country's three biggest cities – Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal – will not be affected by the strike. The union represents workers at commuter rail services including Go Transit in Toronto, Exo in Montreal and the West Coast Express in Vancouver, where passengers would remain unaffected.

The rail workers have been without a contract since July 23 and say they are concerned about long hours, fatigue and what they consider to be dangerous working conditions. The strike comes after CN Rail confirmed last Friday that it is cutting jobs across the railway as it deals with a weakening North American economy that has eroded demand for rail services, particularly freight shipments.