MONTREAL – Members of the Canadian Auto Workers’ Union have voted to accept tentative agreements reached by their union with Canadian National Railway last Monday.

The vote puts an end to a four-week strike by 5,000 workers against CN Rail. The strike was launched on February 20 and affected CN operations from Vancouver to Halifax.

Members of CAW Local 100 (shopcraft workers) voted 69 % in favour of the agreement, while members of CAW Council 4000 (clerical, customer service, and intermodal yard workers) voted 81% in favour.

In a joint statement, Local 100 president Bryon DeBaets and Council 4000 president Rick Johnston thanked workers for supporting the union’s recommendation.

“We are tremendously proud of the struggle and sacrifices made by our members and their families over the past four weeks,” they said. “Through your efforts, we have shown the management of this railway that commercial success is not enough. The workers, who are the authors of that success, must be treated with dignity and respect.”

Johnston and DeBaets also warmly thanked the 400 owner-operators (intermodal truck drivers who are also CAW members) for honouring picket lines and incurring financial hardship throughout the work stoppage even though they were not yet in a legal strike position. Owner-operators are currently voting on their own contract settlement, also reached last Monday. They also thanked members of other CN unions for supporting the strike in a variety of ways.

Striking workers will begin returning to work commencing with the day shift on Saturday, March 20.