CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) said Dec. 12 that they had reached a tentative agreement to renew the labour contract for approximately 1,800 CN locomotive engineers in Canada.

Details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification by TCRC members, a process expected to take approximately 60 days.

“CN is very pleased to have reached this settlement with TCRC engineers in advance of the expiration of the current labour contract on Dec. 31, 2011,” said Keith Creel, CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer. “This is a clear indication of the focus that the leadership of the TCRC and our team brought to the table to resolve issues of mutual interest.”

TCRC president Rex Beatty said, “To my knowledge, it’s the first time we have reached a tentative agreement with CN before the expiration of the old contract. This was only possible after three rounds of intense negotiations, but without the ass­istance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.”