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Manager moved to U.S. operation

Source: Prince George Citizen - FRANK PEEBLES Citizen staff
Published: August 24, 2007
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The manager allegedly at the centre of the fiery CN Rail train wreck in Prince George two weeks ago has been transferred to CN's operation in Champaign, Illinois, The Citizen has learned.

Jamie Boychuk was a superintendent at the Prince George yard and is now an assistant superintendent in Illinois, a demotion on paper, but local railroaders said it is more of a lateral position and much closer to CEO E. Hunter Harrison's corporate head office in Chicago.

"Yes I have heard that through the grapevine. I believe it to be true," said Joseph Szabo, the Chicago-based state director for the United Transportation Union in Illinois. "It is something we are aware of and something we are going to keep our eyes on very closely. It is a concern."

Szabo said he and others in the international railroad industry have kept tabs on the Prince George crash Aug. 4, and the transfer of Boychuk to Illinois was also a topic of discussion prior to The Citizen's inquiry.

"If one of my people that I represent crashed a train, I think there is a good chance they would be fired," Szabo said. "There are opportunities for due process for everyone, but if fault is found, that normally would be the outcome of something that severe."

"I would be looking at fines; I would have been fired right off the bat," said Tom Jackson, a Prince George official with the United Transportation Union. He considered Boychuk's move to be an act of favouritism that would not have been shown to a regular yard worker had one of them been responsible for the crash.

"If that had been a propane car, if it had been the passenger train that passed by there only two hours earlier, it would have been insane what could have happened," Jackson said.

CN was asked about Boychuk's reassignment, but officials would not confirm Boychuk was involved in the crash and it was reiterated that CN does not publicly discuss its employees' discipline matters.

 
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