Briefs – for Oct. 11, 2010

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CN reaches contract deal with train crews

Canadian National Railway CNR. TO and the union representing 2,700 conductors, trainmen and yard crews reached a tentative deal on Oct. 1, averting a possible labour showdown at Canada’s largest rail carrier.

The railroad said the agreement was for a three-year contract, but other details of the agreement were not released pending a ratification vote by the workers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. The union confirmed the deal in a statement.

A union spokesman said further details would be provided to the public once they had been distributed to their membership. A labour conciliator working with the sides had recommended a deal that included wage and benefit improvements comparable with those granted to other CN employees and a deferral of contentious issues such as crew scheduling. Workers have complained that the railroad’s current scheduling system created safety issues because crews could not get the rest they needed. The wage increases in the conciliator’s recommended plan were 2.4 per cent, 2.6 per cent and three per cent over a three-year period.

Weather boosts CWB PROs

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The arrival of fall frosts and worries over U. S. corn yields contributed to last month’s rise in the Canadian Wheat Board’s pool return outlook (PRO) values for wheat.

Based on what the CWB called “another tumultuous month,” values for Canada Western (CW) feed wheat and the highest-protein red spring (CWRS) wheat rose by $30 per tonne (82 cents a bushel) in the board’s September 2010-11 PROs, released Sept. 23.

Other wheat classes and grades saw values rise by at least $4 and as much as $25 per tonne.

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