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

Police incident in Mount Douglas Park leads to road closure

Officers turning cars away, letting hikers go up trails

PHOTOS: Women’s March through downtown Victoria draws crowds of activists, allies

Attendees of all ages carried instruments, posters with empowering messages

Victoria resident lives well despite dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

New Victoria Conservatory music scholarship recognizes long-time Sidney resident

O. Thomas Webb died in Sidney last year after retiring to the community in 1975

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Ice chunk from truck crushes vehicle windshield on Vancouver Island

None injured, but Nanaimo RCMP say there can be fines for accumulations of ice and snow

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Intense winds en route to Greater Victoria

Winter storm warning in effect for east and west regions while wind warning to hit south and north

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Most Read