Renewed negotiations between CN Rail, Teamsters fail; arbitrator to decide unresolved wage and benefits issues

MONTREAL , December 14, 2009 (press release) – Unresolved wage and benefits issues for 1,700 CN (TSX: CNR)(NYSE: CNI) locomotive engineers in Canada will be submitted to binding arbitration after renewed negotiations between the company and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) ended yesterday without a settlement.

The company and union agreed, as part of the memorandum of settlement that ended the TCRC's strike Dec. 2, 2009, to third-party arbitration of wage and benefits issues if further talks failed to resolve their contractual differences.

The federal Minister of Labour will now appoint an arbitrator, who will have 90 days following his or her appointment to report to the Minister with a final decision on a new collective agreement. Nothing precludes CN or the TCRC from agreeing to further negotiations once the arbitration process starts.

Under the dispute resolution mechanism of the Dec. 2, memorandum of settlement, no further strike action is permitted by the TCRC, nor can CN lockout TCRC members.

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