Teamsters say CN transferring workers across country twice in one year

Railway control centre — two others sit in Toronto and Edmonton — handles the majority of rail traffic

Canadian National Railway Co. is transferring some rail traffic control positions to Edmonton from Montreal, prompting a backlash from the Teamsters union as talks to ratify a post-strike collective agreement continue.

CN said Friday that fewer than 15 workers are affected by the change, though Teamsters Canada complained that the relocations were happening less than a year after the workers had been transferred to Montreal from Toronto.

“For reasons of efficiency and management, it was decided that operations for northern Ontario would be controlled from Edmonton starting in the spring of 2020,” CN said in an email.

“Note that this office (northern Ontario) was in Montreal only recently as CN constantly assesses its needs and makes decisions on an ongoing operational basis.”

The union says that supervisors were telling workers that the company aimed to relocate the bulk of its Montreal rail traffic control centre to Alberta’s capital, which would affect more than 100 positions.

“CN is moving families across the country like goods on a train,” said Teamsters Canada president Francois Laporte in a release.

“Some of these families had just found schools and daycare for their children in Montreal. You can’t play with people’s lives like that.”

Union representative Lyndon Isaak said CN could lose experienced staff and increase risk for rail workers, since leaving their communities may not be an option for some of the affected workers.

CN said workers who choose not to relocate will be entitled to the benefits laid out in their collective agreement.

The railway control centre — two others sit in Toronto and Edmonton — handles the majority of rail traffic in Eastern Canada for the Montreal-based CN, according to the Teamsters.

The move comes as talks to ratify a tentative deal with the company continue following an eight-day strike by 3,200 workers that brought the railway to a near halt.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex undergoing annual cleaning and maintenance while closed

The City closed the arena last month due to COVID-19 restrictions

Williams Lake to create daytime heated shelter for vulnerable during COVID-19

As of Thursday, April 2, Boitanio Park shelter will be tarped, heated until temperatures warm up

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

Flood repairs result in new COVID-19 respiratory unit at Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Unit will be used for suspect and confirmed cases of COVID-19 required to be admitted

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read