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MONTREAL, Sept.12, 2022 — We would like to inform our customers on the status of labor negotiations in the United States and the potential impact on their freight.

CN, along with other U.S. Class I freight railroads, are currently in multi-employer national bargaining with labor unions that collectively represent the vast majority of CN’s U.S. union-represented employees.

At present, tentative agreements have already been reached with 8 of the rail labor unions, collectively representing approximately 44,000 rail industry employees.

The rail industry is committed to working with all represented unions to reach a voluntary labor agreement as quickly as possible and CN is confident that agreements will soon be reached with the remaining unions as well.

Under the U.S. Railway Labor Act, the carriers and the unions remain in a 30-day “cooling off” period until September 15th, 2022. Voluntary settlements with all unions would avert any potential disruptions to rail service after the cooling off period ends at 12:01 a.m. ET on Friday, September 16th, 2022.

CN is proactively taking the following steps for the orderly shut down of the railroad in order to protect safety, secure customer cargo, and to minimize customer impact in the event of a temporary suspension of service. At 12:01 a.m. ET, Monday, September 12th, 2022:

  • CN has embargoed all Rail Security-Sensitive Materials or RSSM commodities (such as PIH/TIH) and all Time Sensitive commodities destined to all points in the U.S. and Mexico from any origin and destined to points in Canada from origins in the U.S. or Mexico, and implemented a permit system.
  • For the time being, all intermodal shipments and Canada to Canada carload shipments of all commodities will continue to move per normal operations.
  • If tentative agreements with the remaining unions are not reached, additional commodities may be added to the embargo during this week. Further information and instructions on the shipment of other commodities will be provided as the situation evolves.

To see which type traffic is impacted download the detailed embargo list.

CN is taking all measures necessary to handle sensitive and dangerous cargo in accordance with federal regulations and to ensure that no such hazardous cargo is left on an unattended or unsecured train in the event of a work stoppage due to an impasse in labor negotiations.

While ensuring the security of hazardous material and other security-sensitive material is a first priority, other freight customers may also start to experience delayed or suspended service over the course of this week, as the railroads prepare for the possibility that current labor negotiations do not result in a resolution and are forced to substantially reduce operations.

You can get extensive information regarding the status of the U.S. national bargaining by visiting the U.S. national carriers website.

We will continue to provide regular updates as they become available.