Canadian National Reaches Labor Deal

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Canadian National ( CNI) said it reached a deal to renew its labor contract with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference in what has already been an active month of labor negotiations for Class I railroads.

Details of the agreement will be released pending its ratification by TCRC members, who make up about 1,800 locomotive engineers for the Montreal-based company.
Another railroad has struck a labor deal

"To my knowledge, it's the first time we have reached a tentative agreement with CN before the expiration of the old contract," said Rex Beatty, TCRC president, in a statement.

Major freight railroad companies averted a strike in the U.S. at the beginning of December as they reached agreements with two of the rail unions and extended talks until February with a third.

Before railroad companies reached agreements with the unions, House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said that Congress would take any legislative action to avert a "job-destroying" shutdown of the nation's rails.

He was likely referring to the "Commerce Clause," or Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states. A strike could have cost the country an estimated $2 billion a day.

All publicly traded Class I railroad stocks were rising Tuesday as most shadowed the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Union Pacific ( UNP) was leading the sector at $102.78, up $2.18, or 2.2%; Canadian National was gaining to $76.87, up 35 cents, or 0.5%; CSX ( CSX) was at $21.09, up 19 cents, or 0.9%; Kansas City Southern ( KSU) was climbing to $66.06, up 61 cents, or 0.9%; Norfolk Southern ( NSC) was at $73.58, up 50 cents, or 0.7%; and Canadian Pacific ( CP) was lagging the sector at $63.38, up 23 cents, or 0.4%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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