Union gives Canadian National strike notice

Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:00am EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A union representing about 4,000 workers at Canadian National Railway Co, the country's biggest rail carrier, have given notice they will strike on Tuesday unless they agree on a new contract.

The railway said on Saturday it believed there was enough time to reach a deal with the Canadian Auto Workers before the strike deadline. If not, the union is set to stop work at one minute after midnight Eastern time on January 25.

Canadian National said it has a contingency plan to operate the railway during a strike using its managers.

The Canadian Auto Workers represent staff in four bargaining units -- mechanical, clerical/intermodal, excavator operators, and owner-operator truck drivers, the railway said.

It has been bargaining with the union since September, 2010. Union contracts expired at the end of last year.

Unionized workers at both Canadian National and rival Canadian Pacific Railway voted earlier this month to give their union a strike mandate if labor talks failed.

The strike deadline at Canadian Pacific, Canada's No. 2 carrier, is set for February 8.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Paul Simao)