Teamsters say CN transferring workers across country twice in one year

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

Surrey RCMP are looking for these two men after a bank in the 12800-block of 96th Avenue was robbed on March 12. (Images: Surrey RCMP)
Police release images of two men suspected of robbing Surrey bank

Robbery happened on March 12 at bank in 12800-block of 96th Avenue

An example of a Surrey Police cruiser, showcased at Mayor Doug McCallum’s State of the City Address at Civic Hotel in May of 2019. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Recently hired inspector no longer ‘taking a position’ with Surrey Police Service

Jeff Harris was first announced as an inspector on April 1

A vaccine-filled needle awaits injection, during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic held Jan. 15, 2021 at Amica White Rock. Community Living B.C.-funded workers learned April 8 that they, too, can now be vaccinated. (Tracy Holmes file photo)
Support workers for those with disabilities given vaccine priority

News shared with Community Living B.C.-funded staff on April 8

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Attorney General covers housing, homelessness and justice reform in Surrey Zoom

‘I think it would be really great to hold some sessions in Surrey,’ Eby says of legislative assembly

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed on April 4, according to a statement from police. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police name victim following city’s fourth homicide of 2021

Robinson Russ, 37, was fatally stabbed Sunday in the Downtown Eastside

Sunset Manor, an assisted living facility in Chilliwack owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, pictured here in October 2020, had its third COVID-19 outbreak declared on April 9, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
3rd COVID outbreak at care home run by Chilliwack church known for opposing vaccinations

30-bed Sunset Manor owned and operated by Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning says the players who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 are recovering and the team still intends to play a 56-game season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks players ‘mostly on the other side’ of COVID outbreak: general manager

The athletes have had a “whole range” of COVID-19 symptoms, said team physician Dr. Jim Bovard, but no one has needed to be hospitalized

Police are investigating after a man was shot Thursday, April 8 while sitting in a car in Vancouver. (Black Press files)
Man shot in Vancouver while sitting in a parked car: police

The victim is currently in critical condition. Police say no arrests have been made.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is seeking public tips regarding a break-in that left multiple people injured in Vernon Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Cariboo teacher charged in child exploitation case

Charge laid against teacher at Peter Skene Ogden

Most Read