CN Rail signals and communications employees across Canada continue to walk the picket lines as the strike reaches Day 4.

In Sudbury, Ont., picketers have been rotating around railway crossings in the Nickel City each day since Monday after about 750 workers -- who maintain train crossings, signals and inspection equipment -- walked off the job Saturday.

Chris Nadon, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2052 president, told CTV News 72 employees are affected in northern Ontario, with 25 in the Sudbury area alone.

In a letter to workers dated June 20, CN detailed the latest offer rejected by the union saying, "we have been in negotiations with the union since October 2021. CN has approached this round of bargaining with the objective of improving wages, benefits, and work rules, and ensuring the safety of our employees. We have met or exceeded every one of the Union’s demands in an effort to reach an agreement prior to the strike deadline."

It says the offer included:

  • 10 per cent improvement to wages over three years
  • More paramedical benefits and mental health support in addition to increased flexibility to select a
  • plan that best suits individual needs
  • An increase in meal per diems
  • Double the mileage reimbursements when you travel for business

But Nadon told CTV News that wage increase offer is not entirely accurate.

"The wage increases last offered is 8 per cent over three years with a 2 per cent signing bonus based on wages," Nadon told CTV News in an email.

CN also said it agreed to several of the union's demands including:

  • Better scheduling, which will ensure two consecutive days off
  • Increase in the all-inclusive expense allowance
  • Overtime procedures now based on seniority
  • New classification for "work gangs" that will include incentives and an implementation process

Nadon said while many members live in northern Ontario, they work "on the road" and stay in hotels during their work cycles.

The picketing began on Monday in the Greater Sudbury community of Capreol.

On Tuesday, more than a dozen picketers stood on either side of Barrydowne Road near the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4075 office holding signs.

"We also received a visit from CUPE who brought some food for us and offered the use of their facilities while we picketed," Nadon said.

Wednesday, the picket line was set up at the railway crossing on Notre Dame Avenue in the Flour Mill.

On Thursday, they will be back on Barrydowne Road.

The railway said normal operations are continuing safely using its contingency plan and can maintain normal operations for as long as required.