Arbitrator to decide wage and benefit issues for CN locomotive engineers
after renewed negotiations end without settlement

MONTREAL, Dec. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Unresolved wage and benefits issues for 1,700 CN (TSX: CNR)(NYSE: CNI) locomotive engineers in Canada will be submitted to binding arbitration after renewed negotiations between the company and Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) ended yesterday without a settlement.

The company and union agreed, as part of the memorandum of settlement that ended the TCRC's strike Dec. 2, 2009, to third-party arbitration of wage and benefits issues if further talks failed to resolve their contractual differences.

The federal Minister of Labour will now appoint an arbitrator, who will have 90 days following his or her appointment to report to the Minister with a final decision on a new collective agreement. Nothing precludes CN or the TCRC from agreeing to further negotiations once the arbitration process starts.

Under the dispute resolution mechanism of the Dec. 2, memorandum of settlement, no further strike action is permitted by the TCRC, nor can CN lockout TCRC members.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements. CN cautions that, by their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk, uncertainties and assumptions. Implicit in these statements, particularly in respect of long-term growth opportunities, is the Company's assumption that such growth opportunities are less affected by the current situation in the North American and global economies. The Company cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that the current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. The Company cautions that its results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, the effects of adverse general economic and business conditions, including the current deep recession in the North American economy and the global economic contraction in 2009, industry competition, inflation, currency and interest rate fluctuations, changes in fuel prices, legislative and/or regulatory developments, compliance with environmental laws and regulations, actions by regulators, various events which could disrupt operations, including natural events such as severe weather, droughts, floods and earthquakes, labor negotiations and disruptions, environmental claims, uncertainties of investigations, proceedings or other types of claims and litigation, risks and liabilities arising from derailments, and other risks detailed from time to time in reports filed by CN with securities regulators in Canada and the United States. Reference should be made to "Management's Discussion and Analysis" in CN's annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators, available on CN's website, for a summary of major risks.

CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement.

CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.

SOURCE CN

For further information: For further information: Media: Mark Hallman, Director, Communications & Public Affairs, (905) 669-3384; Investors: Robert Noorigian, Vice-President, Investor Relations, (514) 399-0052


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