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

Yunesit’in Chief Russell Myers Ross not seeking re-election

Yunesit’in First Nation will have a new leader come Sept. 9

Nominations for Quesnel Business Excellence Awards now open

Awards to be broadcast online Oct. 2, followed by winners parade Oct. 3

First Nations youth get hands on archaeological experience

Delving into the ancient past has inspired the future aspirations of four First Nations youth

Solo exhibition “Pastel Stories” debuts at Quesnel Art Gallery

Marcela Bodorikova showcases experimentation with pastels in gallery’s August exhibition

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read