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April 12, 2007 11:30 AM, EDT

CN Workers Begin Strike

Railroad Locks Out Employees at Some Terminals

Canadian National Railway Co.’s 2,800 union conductors and yard workers began rotating strikes Wednesday after rejecting a proposed one-year contract, Bloomberg reported.

Picketing began in Vancouver and in Oakville, Ontario, and was expected to spread to other areas, Bloomberg said, citing the United Transportation Union.

CN is Canada’s largest freight railroad.

Meanwhile, the railroad said late Wednesday that it began locking out union employees at “various terminals” in Canada where union members have withdrawn their services.

“CN is a scheduled railroad, and we cannot run scheduled freight operations without predictable manpower resources,” said CN Chief Executive Officer E. Hunter Harrison.

“Rotating withdrawals of employee services are very disruptive to the company [and] we must ensure the continuity of our operations,” he said in a statement.