UPDATE 1-CN Rail conductor union says doesn’t want strike

* Negotiators in last-ditch talks

* CN, union must give 72-hour lock-out or strike notice

* Union waiting for company to respond to counter-proposal

* CN stock down 1.4 pct

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept 28 (BestGrowthStock) – The union
representing 2,700 train conductors and other workers at
Canadian National Railway Co Ltd (CNR.TO: ) will not serve strike
notice unless the company is intent on making drastic changes
to their labor agreement, a union spokesman said on Tuesday.

Negotiators from the Teamsters Rail Conference,
representing CN’s train conductors, yardmen and traffic
coordinators, and from Canada’s biggest railroad are in talks
to stave off a work stoppage that could come as early as
Friday.

“It is very unlikely that we will serve strike notice
unless they change the terms of conditions,” Teamsters
spokesman Bryan Boechler told Reuters. He said the union’s
willingness to go on strike will depend how drastic the changes
are that CN wants to make to the labor contract.

“Nobody wins with a strike,” Boechler added.

On Monday the Teamsters issued a statement saying the union
was pessimistic about the outcome of the talks. It accused CN
of starting the countdown to a strike or lockout after it
requested conciliation after only six days of talks.

CN said in a statement on Tuesday that it still hopes to
sign a new contract without labor disruption through talks
guided by a federal government-appointed mediator.

But getting a deal “will require some union flexibility and
give and take,” CN said.

Ninety percent of union members recently voted in favor of
authorizing a strike if no agreement is reached. The two sides
must now give 72 hours’ notice of a strike or lockout.

The workers have been without a work contract since July
22.

Boechler said the union received a proposal from CN on
Monday night, and handed its counter-proposal to the company on
Tuesday. He said it hoped to hear back from CN later in the
day.

CN said it wants to negotiate changes to union work rules
but also wants labor talks over swiftly. As a result, it is
prepared to accept the conciliator’s recommendation of a
three-year status quo agreement with no work rule changes if
the union “endorses the deal and ratifies it quickly”.

The union said that arbitration is not a viable option
after an arbitrator was appointed to decide their last contract
three years ago.

The union “is not willing to accept two consecutive
arbitrated settlements that fail to address our safety and
health concerns”, it said in Monday’s statement.

CN said it has set up a contingency service plan in the
event of a labor disruption. No CN operations in the United
States will be affected, the company said.

CN’s stock was 95 Canadian cents, or 1.4 percent, lower at
C$64.99 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.
Stock of smaller rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd (CP.TO: )
was 70 Canadian cents, or 1 percent, lower at C$63.30.

($1=$1.03 Canadian)
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway)

UPDATE 1-CN Rail conductor union says doesn’t want strike