CN strike to end early Tuesday after union agrees to binding arbitration |

A two-week strike at the Canadian National Railway Co. is ending after the union representing 750 signal and communications workers agreed to binding arbitration.

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Steve Martin, a spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), said the strike that began on June 18 will end shortly after midnight.

Employees will return to duty Wednesday morning, the company said in a news release.

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The IBEW initially rejected the railroad’s proposal to resolve the remaining differences, over wages and benefits, through binding arbitration, saying the concessions did not go far enough.

But Martin said the time was right to take this step now.

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“It was a collective decision of the bargaining committee that, considering all the facts and the current state of the strike, was the most reasonable thing to do,” he said in an interview.

In addition to wages, the arbitration will decide on a lifetime cap on some health benefits.

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The Montreal-based railroad thanked management employees and contractors for their service that “allowed rail operations to continue without interruption during the strike.”

The company’s offer from late June included a 10 percent pay raise for three years and better hours that guaranteed two consecutive days off.

CN transports more than 300 million tons of raw materials and consumer goods across the continent each year.

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