CN Rail strike won't hurt Halifax port: officials
Last Updated: Saturday, November 28, 2009 | 6:46 PM AT
A strike by 1,700 CN Rail engineers across Canada is not expected to affect container traffic at the Halifax Port Authority, officials say.
But some of the local engineers, who were protesting Saturday along the major rail line between Halifax's two main port terminals, aren't convinced.
The port worked out a contingency plan with CN management before the engineers walked off the job early Saturday, spokeswoman Michelle Pevril said.
'CN is continuing to run trains with management personnel and we'll continue to monitor service daily.'—Michelle Pevril, Halifax port
"The port of Halifax has been monitoring the potential CN strike for a number of days and we'll continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis," she said.
"CN is continuing to run trains with management personnel and we'll continue to monitor service daily. So that work will continue throughout the strike to ensure that we can continue to deliver service to our customers."
CN moves 70 per cent of the cargo that comes into the Halifax port every year, Pevril said.
Workers predict slowdown
Fourteen local CN engineers are involved in the walkout. At least 10 of them were picketing on Saturday, when a train from Toronto was expected.
They contend only three local managers are capable of operating a train. So while service at the port may not be immediately disrupted, they say it will slow down eventually if the strike continues.
The last CN strike in 2007 lasted two weeks before Parliament drafted back to work legislation, prompting the sides to come to an agreement.
Talks between the union and management in Montreal broke down late Friday.
At issue is the amount of a wage increase and mileage caps for the locomotive engineers.
The union says CN's proposal to increase the monthly cap would require some engineers to work seven days a week.
Some of the Halifax engineers worry that increasing the number of miles an engineer is allowed to travel in a given month will mean fewer are needed and ultimately, layoffs will ensue.
The company says the new cap would bring the average work week up to about 41 hours.
The strike will not affect VIA Rail passenger train service in the Maritimes, CN officials have said.
"Our commitment is to our customers to provide the best service possible under the circumstances," spokesman Mark Hallman said.
Latest Nova Scotia News Headlines
- Cape Breton fishermen pray as lobster season begins
- Nova Scotia lobster fishermen and their families gathered on their boats in Main-a-Dieu on Sunday for the annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. more »
- N.S. tobacconist won’t appeal charter challenge ruling
- A tobacco store owner in Kentville will not appeal a court decision forcing him to hide its products. more »
- Man, 80, dies on fishing outing near Bridgewater
- An 80-year-old Nova Scotia man has died after he fell into the water on Wentzell's Lake near Bridgwater, say police. more »
- Man charged after throwing a bucket at an RCMP officer
- A 61-year-old man is facing charges of assaulting Halifax RCMP officers after an incident in the North Preston area Saturday night. more »
Top News Headlines
- Search continues for 2 missing New Brunswick fishermen
- A search effort has resumed for two missing fishermen off the coast of New Brunswick, after a distress call was issued from their boat early Saturday. more »
- Jeep driver apologizes after stunt kills Edmonton woman
- A man claiming to be the driver of a Jeep that struck and killed a spectator at a charity event in Edmonton says he is sorry for what happened. more »
- Senior Pakistani politician shot dead
- Voting in Karachi goes ahead a day after gunmen killed a senior member of Imran Khan's Movement for Justice (PTI) party outside her home in Karachi. more »
- Virginia parade crash driver likely had medical problem
- Authorities believe the driver who plowed into dozens of hikers marching in a Virginia mountain town parade suffered from a medical condition and did not cause the crash intentionally, an emergency official said Sunday. more »
- Worker falls in ocean in Digby accident
- Blue Nose Youth Run draws thousands
- Roundup of Bluenose Marathon street closures
- Sydney `hackathon` challenges techies
- Sailor fighting cancer says AWOL charges dropped
- Luck changes for $3.2M lottery winners from Cape Breton
- UFO sightings in Canada in 2012 doubled previous record
- Rescue attempt over for New Brunswick fishermen
- Sailor with cancer charged for being AWOL over sick day