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Updated: 14th November 2019 05:28 Business

CP, CN workers vote for strike mandate

More than 6,000 mechanical and other workers at CN Rail and Canadian Pacific Railways have overwhelmingly voted in favour of possible strike action ahead of a resumption of contract talks next week.

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More than 6,000 mechanical and other workers at CN Rail and Canadian Pacific Railways have overwhelmingly voted in favour of possible strike action ahead of a resumption of contract talks next week.

The Canadian Auto Workers union, which represents about 6,100 employees at Canada's two largest railways, said the workers supported a strike mandate in order to demonstrate their opposition to demands for concessions.

CN Rail locals represent 3,400 shopcraft, clerical and intermodal employees, along with 575 owner-operator truck drivers for CNTL, a CN subsidiary.

They voted 82 to 100 per cent in favour of a strike if bargaining fails. The union has set a strike deadline of Jan. 25 at 12:01 a.m.

Canadian Pacific Local 101 represents 2,100 mechanical workers across the country who voted 89 per cent in favour of a strike mandate. Its strike deadline is Feb. 8 at 12:01 a.m.

Negotiations began in September and are set to resume Monday in Montreal.

CAW national representative Brian Stevens said the dispute with Canadian Pacific centres on a string of monetary and non-monetary issues, including the railway's plans to close its Ogden shop in Calgary.

CN Rail spokesman Mark Hallman said the country's largest railway is confident that new collective agreements can be reached without a disruption to service. He declined to detail the issues of disagreement.

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