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TheStreet Open House

Rail Offer to Union Fails to Move Market

MONTREAL ( TheStreet) -- An offer reportedly made by Canadian National Railway (CNI) to the union representing engineers that went on strike over the weekend did not impress investors on Wednesday morning, as shares in the rail operator were trading down by 1.3%.

The lack of a positive market response to the reported olive branch could be a result of the refusal by the union representing the striking engineers, the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, to confirm that the offer had even been made.

Reuters reported that Canadian National Railway agreed to binding arbitration on wage and benefit issues, as well a retreat from its demand for a higher cap on the number of monthly miles driven by engineers. An end to 14 months of stalled negotiations led to the strike's inception over the weekend.

Canadian National had the second-biggest loss in the rail sector on Wednesday morning. Providence & Worcester (PWX) was down 2.8% in early trading.

Canadian National and Providence & Worcester were the only major rail players on a negative trend on Wednesday morning. The rail industry has been up through the first three days of the week as a result of a broader rally in the transportation sector. The shockwaves from Dubai that started the week at a low on Monday were mitigated by solid news from the U.S. home, construction and manufacturing sectors on Tuesday.

Transportation was again trading up on Wednesday morning with a gain of a little under 1%. Most of the major rail companies were continuing the winning streak, though only marginally, led by Union Pacific (UNP), which was up 0.7% matching the return of the transportation sector as a whole on Wednesday morning.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York

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