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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian National Rail CNR.TO said on Saturday that it has reached a tentative labor agreement with the union representing its train engineers in Canada.
Canada's largest railway said the deal with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, which covers about 1,800 locomotive engineers, will be put to a ratification vote by mid-April, when results will be made public. The Montreal-based rail operator did not disclose the agreement's details, pending the vote.
CN Rail is still in talks with Unifor, the union that represents about 4,800 workers, including clerical employees and truck operators.
Unifor and the Teamsters have also been negotiating with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP.TO), the country's No. 2 railroad. But unlike CP, neither union had announced a strike deadline at CN Rail.
Talks between CP and the two unions were approaching a midnight deadline that would see thousands of workers walk off the job on Sunday if a deal is not reached.
The Canadian government joined contract talks between CP and unionized staff on Friday to help stave off a potential strike but it also began laying the groundwork to introduce back-to-work legislation.
The Conservative government put the legislation on Parliament's notice paper for Monday, meaning it could pass it into law soon after any strike.
CP has said its managers will be ready to take over if engineers and conductors go on strike.
Reporting by Amran Abocar; Editing by Jonathan Oatis