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CN Rail union says strike unlikely as it assesses response to contract rejection

MONTREAL - The union that represents about 3,000 yard workers and train crews at Canadian National Railway says a strike is unlikely even after members narrowly rejected a second tentative contract. "We do still have a valid strike mandate but that's somewhat limited given the government's ability to take away our right to strike," said Roland Hackl, general chairman of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. The union can give 72-hours strike notice at any time, but the Harper government has already prepared back-to-work legislation that it can enact at any time.

Workers at CN Rail reject a second contract proposal

MONTREAL - Three-thousand workers at CN Rail (TSX:CNR) have rejected a second tentative contract, prompting the company to suggest the talks go to binding arbitration. CN issued a statement Thursday night saying it was notified by Teamsters Canada, which represents conductors, yard workers and other train workers, that its members rejected the deal. The latest tentative deal was reached in early February in the face of a threatened strike by the employees.

Ice delays ships on Great Lakes, seaway; more icebreakers needed: ship owners

The Canadian Shipowners Association wants more icebreakers to open up the frozen Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway for shipments of Canadian grain and other commodities. Association president Robert Lewis-Manning says the worst winter in 20 years has clogged the important trade route with a broad cover of thick ice that is suppressing freighter traffic.

Ice delays ships on Great Lakes, seaway; more icebreakers needed: ship owners

The Canadian Shipowners Association wants more icebreakers to open up the frozen Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway for shipments of Canadian grain and other commodities. Association president Robert Lewis-Manning says the worst winter in 20 years has clogged the important trade route with a broad cover of thick ice that is suppressing freighter traffic.

CP will try to move more grain through port at Thunder Bay: Manitoba government

WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government says it has secured a promise from the head of Canadian Pacific Railway to try to move more grain through the port at Thunder Bay, Ont. Manitoba Transportation Minister Steve Ashton says he has spoken on the telephone with CP CEO Hunter Harrison. Ashton says Harrison has agreed to intervene personally to try to have more grain shipped through Thunder Bay, where there is some unused elevator capacity. A backlog exists across Western Canada due to bumper crops and an extremely cold winter that rail companies say snarled grain movement.

Feds, B.C., Port Metro Vancouver announce plan to end trucker strike

VANCOUVER - The federal and B.C. governments and Port Metro Vancouver have announced a 14-point plan to resolve an ongoing strike by container-truck drivers they say has severely impacted the national economy. Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone and port president and CEO Robin Silvester said the plan released Thursday night will ensure drivers will be paid fair compensation, reduce wait times at container terminals and create an industry oversight committee.

Canadian Pacific to repurchase up to three per cent of its shares

CALGARY - Canadian Pacific Railway says it will repurchase up to 5.27 million or three per cent of its shares over the next year. The Calgary-based railway says the normal course issuer bid, which has been accepted by the Toronto Stock Exchange, demonstrates its confidence in the long-term prospects of the company. "Our strong balance sheet and improved cash flow affords us the flexibility to reward shareholders while continuing to pursue our business strategy and invest in the franchise," CEO Hunter Harrison stated Tuesday.

Ottawa orders railways to move minimum amount of grain each week or face fines

WINNIPEG - Ottawa is forcing Canada's two main railway companies to double the amount of grain they ship in a week to try to unclog a transport bottleneck that has left piles of grain sitting in bins across the Prairies. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said cabinet has passed an order-in-council that gives Canadian National and Canadian Pacific a month to start moving a minimum of one million tonnes of grain in 11,000 cars each week.

Canadian Pacific CEO defends railway's handling of Western grain backlog

CALGARY - The head of Canadian Pacific Railway is taking on critics who say his company hasn't done enough to move a record Western Canadian grain crop to market. In full-page ads in the Globe and Mail and National Post newspapers on Thursday, CEO Hunter Harrison said he wants to "set the record straight" on how the railway has managed shipments during a particularly nasty winter. Canada's two major railways — CP (TSX:CP) and Montreal-based Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) — have been accused of making oil and other products a higher priority than grain.

NY fines CSX Railroad $10,000 over oil train derailments; says CSX didn't report within 1 hour

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York state Department of Transportation has fined CSX Railroad $10,000, saying it failed to report two oil train derailments within an hour of when they happened as required by state law. A Feb. 25 derailment in Kingston involved empty rail cars that had contained crude oil. A Feb. 28 derailment at the Selkirk yard near Albany involved a train loaded with crude oil. The cars remained upright and nothing spilled.
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