Federal mediators have called a meeting between Canadian National Railway and the union for its 1,700 locomotive engineers in a move to avert a strike that could come as early as Nov. 28.
The mediators have called the meeting for Friday in Montreal.
Canada's biggest railway said Wednesday it has received strike notice.
The company said in a statement the move is "unfortunate because a strike is in no one's interest — not the locomotive engineers, CN's other employees, its customers or the Canadian economy."
It is urging the union to resume negotiations immediately or submit to binding arbitration. The issues include wages and a ceiling on how many miles engineers must drive each month.
The last contract expired on Dec. 31, 2008.