May 17, 2022

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Language conflict in CN | CN is trying to defuse the crisis with its CEO

Language conflict in CN |  CN is trying to defuse the crisis with its CEO

The Canadian National Railway Company (CN) tried to defuse a linguistic storm by providing an overview on Tuesday of the progress made by its new president and chief executive officer in French. It remains to be seen how Tracy Robinson will fulfill her commitments in this area.

Posted on April 26th

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Julian Arsenal
Press

In office since February 28, she addressed a controversy that has led to a flood of criticism of the country’s most important railways. MMe Robinson reiterated that it was “important” for a French-speaking director to sit on the board of directors of a Montreal-based company. Official Languages ​​Act.

This is no longer the case since Jean-Charles recently resigned to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, and it is still unclear when the company will rectify the situation. Press CN revealed that it was not enough to nominate Francophone for the position of former Quebec Premier, which led to intense protests.

“I’ve been doing my French perfectly and I’m been practicing it ever since I came [à Montréal]M explained.Me Robinson, Tuesday, during the first quarter results presentation. I want to make sure that anyone can communicate with CN in the language of their choice. ⁇

Photo from LinkedIn

Tracy Robinson, CN President and CEO

Jean-Jacques Roost’s successor made these remarks when the company’s board of directors began the process of appointing a French-speaking director in the Moliere language. The end is expected “in the coming months”.

CN timeline not provided. Railways said the terms of the two current directors were coming to an end, but it was not clear whether French-speaking candidates would replace them. CN Annual Meeting will be held on May 20th.

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“It simply came to our notice then Damage control Said Mary-Soyle Tremble, a governance specialist and professor at the National School of Public Administration.

We heard the message. After that, we need to look at what the game plan is: is it fair to hire a bilingual person or do we want to reflect more deeply?

Mary-Soyle Tremble, Governance Specialist

In terms of communications with the company in the two official languages ​​of the country, Mr.Me Robinson did not say how she wanted to go about it. She takes control of CN during a two-year complaint by the Teamsters Union about linguistic events in Quebec. Union Rail challenged the new leader of the carrier in a letter earlier this month Press. The CN leader did not raise this issue.

Hard winter

In his first conference call with financial analysts, Mrs.Me In addition to reporting lower profits for the first three months of the year, Robinson had to announce that CN had reduced its guidance for that year.

“It was a difficult start to the year,” she said.

CN attributed its financial results to lockdowns in China due to the harsh western winter, global uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and an increase in COVID-19 infection cases.

In some parts of the western part of the country, extreme cold in January and February forced the company to reduce the size of its trains and use more locomotives to transport freight, which hampered performance.

This year, the increase in adjusted earnings per share should oscillate between the previous target of 20% and 15 to 20%. The maintenance ratio – a measure of railroad capacity expressing costs as a percentage of net sales – is estimated to be around 60%, which is less ambitious than its previous target of 57%.

Anthony Hatch, a railroad expert with the New York firm ABH Consulting, is not worried about forecast revision.

“It’s not fair,” he wrote in a note. M.Me Robinson arrived just 60 days ago and everyone [dans l’industrie] The year began slowly. ⁇

To the question asked by analystsMe Robinson vowed to continue the strategic plan that her predecessor had laid out last fall, while at the same time being careful not to open her game further, explaining that she needed more time.

“I know you want more details on the plan, but we are currently working on it and we will let you know more when we have a good idea. [de ce qui sera décidé] “Replied M.Me Robinson.

The plan has already eliminated 1,150 people. Non-essential assets such as cargo vessels and the TransX trucking business in the Great Lakes can be sold. These options are always evaluated.

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    Prior to joining CN, Tracy Robinson spent seven years at TC Energy. She has worked for the Canadian Pacific for nearly 30 years.

    Source: Canadian National Railway Company