Arbitration decision renews CN conductors’ collective agreements in Canada

CN announced that it has received — and will begin to implement immediately — Arbitrator Michel Picher’s decision setting the terms and conditions of a new three-year collective agreement between CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference – Conductors, Trainpersons and Yardpersons (TCRC-CTY). The arbitration ruling is binding on both parties and concludes the voluntary mediation/arbitration process that the company and union agreed to on March 22, 2014. The TCRC-CTY represents approximately 3,000 CN train conductors, trainpersons, yardpersons and traffic coordinators on CN’s network in Canada.

Work rule changes are effective immediately. The decision provides for general wages increases as follows: three per cent retroactive to July 23, 2013; three per cent effective July 23, 2014, and three per cent effective July 23, 2015, which are in line with general wage and benefits provisions in recent settlements between CN and its other unions. Benefit improvements will take effect on July 1, 2014.

Jim Vena, CN Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, said: “CN is pleased that the arbitration process is finished and that the parties have contractual certainty — this is good news for our customers and the Canadian economy. “The award paves the way for the introduction of scheduling for conductors in Western Canada, an approach we believe will help to address manpower availability and promote greater work-life balance.”

Historic Cannery conservation project receives funding from Prince Rupert Port Authority

Prince Rupert Port Authority has announced that a contribution from its Community Investment Fund will benefit North Pacific Cannery’s Working Dock Restoration project, part of the historic site’s 125th anniversary conservation program. With the contribution of $200,000, the Port Edward Historical Society will launch a 20,000-square foot restoration of the Working Dock at North Pacific Cannery, the oldest remaining intact salmon cannery on the West Coast of North America. The project is the final piece of an intensive five-year restoration effort with a budget of $2.3 million dedicated to preserving North Pacific Cannery’s 29 heritage buildings and structures.

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Port of Hamilton to consider hosting a plasma gasification facility

Port Fuels and Materials Services Inc. (PFMSI) proposes to build a plasma gasification energy-from-waste facility at Port of Hamilton’s (HPA) Pier 15. The proposal is currently in the environmental screening stage. Plasma gasification is a non-combustion process that converts non-hazardous organic matter into synthetic gas (‘syngas’) using high temperature.

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Damco to start container Freight operation in Myanmar

Logistics provider Damco, part of the Maersk Group, has started operating the first international standard warehouse and Container Freight Station (CFS) facility in Myanmar. This brand-new world-class 4,000 square metre facility is C-TPAT compliant and strategically located within 15 kilometres from Yangon ports and major industrial locations. It is suitable for import/export activities for Fast Moving Consumer Goods, consumer electronics, apparels, components, machinery and project cargo.

“Damco is the first global logistics company in Myanmar. After acquiring an operating license in 2013 and opening a new office in Yangon, we have strengthened our position in Myanmar by being the first international logistics company in the country to start offering own-operated CFS/warehousing services,” says Kiattichai Pitpreecha, managing director of the Thailand, Malaysia & Myanmar cluster. “This state-of-the-art, international standard CFS facility enables us to provide superior service to our customers through direct control and management of the entire operation and service delivery process.”

Since international sanctions were lifted in 2012, Myanmar has established itself as a new frontier market, with potential to become a major sourcing country and consumer market for our customers in the near future. The country’s strategic location between three drivers of global economic growth – China, India and Southeast Asia – makes it one of the most unique emerging markets in Asia.

“Emerging markets have always been one of Damco’s focus areas and core strengths, with many of our key customers sourcing their products from or operating in these markets”, adds Kiattichai Pitpreecha.

Bahri obtains shareholder approval for merger with Vela International

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) obtained the approval of shareholders to merge the fleet and operations of Vela International Marine Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Aramco) with Bahri. The merger is considered the largest in the history of Saudi Arabia. The company also signed an agreement to secure Murabaha financing with three banks for SAR 3.2 billion.

Bahri CEO, Engr. Saleh Al-Jasser said “Shareholder approval is the last regulatory approval necessary to finalize the fleet and operations merger between Vela and Bahri so Vela will become the exclusive crude oil carrier to Saudi Aramco. He also pointed out that this transaction represents an added value to Bahri and to Saudi Aramco and the economy of the Saudi Arabia. Engr. Al-Jasser mentioned that after the merger, Bahri will become the third-largest owner of VLCCs in the world with a fleet of 32 tankers.