CN and USW reach tentative agreement

CN announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers (USW) union Local 2004 to renew the labour contract for approximately 3,000 CN maintenance-of-way employees represented by the USW in Canada. The current CN-USW labour agreement is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

Jim Vena, CN Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are pleased to have reached a new four year agreement with the Steelworkers before the current contract expires at month’s end. The discussions reflected a desire to address issues of mutual concern and generated solutions for both sides.”

USW members inspect, maintain and repair CN’s track, bridges and structures in Canada. The union is expected to announce ratification results before the end of January 2015.

Seaway on its way to a five-year record?

Total cargo shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway reached 34.6 million tonnes for the period from March 25 to November 30 — up 5 per cent over the same period last year. Seaway management expect the season will close ahead of last year by a similar margin.

Grain shipments (Canadian and U.S.) tallied 10.1 million tonnes, up 44 per cent over 2013. This total included the most Canadian grain routed through the Seaway for that period in 13 years. A surge in Prairie grain throughout the year has the Port of Thunder Bay on track for its best season in 16 years and Ontario grain exports through ports such as Hamilton, Windsor, Goderich and Port Colborne have also been up significantly this autumn.

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Ship’s crane collapse in Quebec prompts warning from safety body

Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has issued a warning to shipowners regarding cargo-handling cranes in the aftermath of a “catastrophic” crane failure on a bulk carrier this summer in Quebec. TSB, which issued the warning in a November 24 news release, said the failure occurred August 13 on the bulk carrier Seaspace at the port of Bécancour. The slewing ring bearing on the ship’s cargo crane #4 “broke apart,” the news release said, “and the complete cabin and jib assemblies collapsed into a cargo hold, injuring the crane operator.”

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Manitoulin Global Forwarding acquires Canfleet Logistics Ltd.

Manitoulin Global Forwarding has acquired Canfleet Logistics Ltd., of Vancouver, British Columbia. This is the latest strategic investments Manitoulin has made in Western Canada in recent years to build out its offerings and coverage in the region. The purchase of Canfleet, with its export capabilities to Asia, strengthens Manitoulin’s access to high-growth Asian markets, where many of its customers do business, and advances its overall global reach.

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