CN announced that it received and will begin implementing, Arbitrator Andrew Sims’ arbitration ruling setting the terms and conditions of a new three-year collective agreement between CN and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), representing 1,700 locomotive engineers in Canada.

The decision, whose terms are retroactive to January 1, 2009, expires on Dec. 31, 2011. It provides a 1.8 per cent wage increase in 2009, 2.4 per cent in 2010, and 2.6 per cent in 2011, as well as dental plan benefit improvements that come into effect on April 1, 2010.

“With a secure labor agreement in place, we will now work to re-establish a positive dialogue with the TCRC, focusing on issues of common interest for the company, its employees and its customers,” said Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer.

Sims was appointed by the federal government in December 2009 to arbitrate the CN-TCRC contract dispute, after the company and union agreed to further negotiations and binding arbitration of wages and benefits if renewed talks failed. The parties’ agreement ended a five-day strike by locomotive engineers.