VIA Rail: Possible workers strike could cause delays Monday

Jul 11 2022, 2:36 pm

VIA Rail passengers may experience delays on Monday due to a potential workers strike.

Unifor, the union representing roughly 2,400 VIA Rail employees, initially issued a strike notice for 12:01 am on July 11, but extended it to 4 pm today.

In a release, VIA Rail said some services scheduled for Monday “may be impacted” as negotiations continue. The Canadian Crown corporation is allowing customers to change their travel plans without service fees for any departure prior to July 31.

“VIA Rail remains committed to reaching a fair and reasonable agreement,” said Martin R Landry, the president and chief executive officer of VIA Rail.

“In the past few months, there has been an increased appetite for travel. We recognize the additional stress this situation is placing on our passengers and the communities we serve from coast to coast to coast.”

When issuing the strike notice, Unifor said VIA Rail has continued to push for concessions, including the removal of the Supplemental Agreement which would result in the loss of job security.

Unifor represents a range of VIA Rail employees, including maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents, and customer service staff. When strike votes were conducted, more than 99% of union members were in favour of joining the picket line.

Lana Payne, Unifor’s national secretary-treasurer, said the union “remains hopeful” that a deal can be reached.

“Unifor members at VIA are highly skilled and contributed to the success of the company,” said Scott Doherty, executive assistant to Unifor’s national president and lead negotiator. “We will do whatever it takes to get members the collective agreement that they deserve.”

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