Two unions join chorus against Canadian Pacific's Norfolk Southern bid

Fri Jan 8, 2016 12:32pm EST
 
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By Nick Carey

CHICAGO Jan 8 (Reuters) - Two trade unions representing workers at No. 4 U.S. railroad Norfolk Southern Corp have joined a growing chorus of opposition to an unsolicited bid from Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd, one in an unpublished letter sent to the U.S. rail regulator and the other in an interview with Reuters.

The moves add to a growing list of opponents to any deal, which includes customers of Norfolk Southern and a number of elected U.S. officials.

In a Jan. 7 letter to the Surface Transportation Board that has not yet been made public but was viewed by Reuters, Transportation Communications Union/International Association of Machinists President Robert Scardelletti urged the rejection of any proposed merger.

"CP's proposed merger would result in massive job reductions of United States rail workers," Scardelletti wrote. "If such a merger is approved, it undoubtedly would lead to further consolidation of the remaining U.S. carriers, with attendant job loss throughout every railroad craft."

The TCU/IAM letter comes a few days after Reuters reported on a series of letters from Norfolk Southern customers to the STB opposing any merger.

Norfolk Southern declined to comment and Canadian Pacific could not immediately be reached.

The Canadian company in mid-November disclosed its $28 billion offer to buy Norfolk Southern.

Opponents' main concerns are that any deal could trigger a wave of mergers that would leave North America with an anticompetitive rail duopoly and that Canadian Pacific would squeeze profit out of Norfolk Southern by cutting back on necessary investments.   Continued...