November 25, 2009 / 9:19 PM / in 8 years

CN Rail, union agree to talks on November 27

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian National Railway Co said on Wednesday that it will meet with the union representing 1,700 locomotive engineers on November 27, one day before the workers are scheduled to go on strike.

CN, the country’s biggest railroad, received a 72-hour strike notice from the Teamsters union on Wednesday. Wages and a cap on how many miles engineers must drive each month are key issues separating the two sides.

The engineers have been without a contract since December 31, 2008. The federal government appointed two mediators in June to help resolve the dispute.

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference President Daniel Shewchuk told Reuters he was “cautiously optimistic,” and CN spokesman Mark Hallman said, “We very much hope we can reach an agreement to avoid a strike.”

Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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