Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

CN Rail trains are shown at the CN MacMillan Yard in Vaughan, Ont., on June 20, 2022, as a strike by 750 signal workers across the country continues.Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

A strike by 750 signal workers at Canadian National Railway Co. CNR-T is set to enter its fourth day on Tuesday as mediated bargaining has failed to yield a settlement with the union.

Steve Martin, a negotiator with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Canada, said on Monday he’s waiting for CN to respond to the union’s offer made on Sunday night. He said the union is demanding better pay, and has already secured other gains.

“There’s a lot of good work that has been done but it’s not enough to go to the membership with,” Mr. Martin said. “It pretty much boils down to the fine details on the wages.”

The union members who went on strike on Saturday at Canada’s largest railway repair and maintain the signal systems that control trains.

Mr. Martin said disruptions and slowdowns on CN’s network are inevitable as a result of the work stoppage, but he has only heard rumours of such problems and could not provide details.

The ports of Halifax and Vancouver have yet to see any problems associated with the strike, spokespeople said.

“We’re watching the situation very closely, of course,” said Lane Farguson, a spokesman for the Port of Halifax. “We’ll take the necessary steps to maintain berth availability but right now we have open berths and no vessels waiting at anchor.”

CN spokesman Jonathan Abecassis said the railway is running at the usual volume of freight, and its strike contingency plan is in place. CN will use managers and contract workers to replace strikers, he said.

In a letter to employees released to the public, CN chief operating officer Rob Reilley said the company is “disappointed” by the strike. He said the company’s latest offer included a 10-per-cent raise over three years, and better benefits, meal allowances and scheduling.

Mr. Martin said the letter was “misleading.” CN’s wage offer is a raise of 8 per cent over three years, with a 2-per-cent lump-sum payment, he said, not 10 per cent. “If they offered that we would have taken it,” Mr. Martin said.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe