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Canada’s VIA Rail workers threaten to strike

VIA Rail workers threaten to strike
VIA Rail workers threaten to strike
Written by Harry Johnson

Union membership supports the bargaining committee, is firm in their demands, and is prepared to take action if needed

Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 VIA Rail members issue a strong strike mandate ahead of July 11 deadline, as negotiations continue in Montreal.

“The strike vote result sends a clear message to the employer: The membership supports the bargaining committee, is firm in their demands, and is prepared to take action if needed,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to Unifor’s National President and lead negotiator.  “At this critical time, VIA Rail members deserve the best possible agreement, and that can only be won by working together, in solidarity.”

From June 20 to July 1, 2022, both Unifor Council 4000 and Unifor Local 100 conducted strike votes with VIA Rail members across Canada.

The results for the vote were 99.4% in favor of strike action at Local 100 and 99.3 % in favor of strike action from Council 4000 members.

At the table, VIA Rail continued to push for concessions including the removal of the Supplement Agreement for both Unifor Council 4000 and Unifor Local 100 members.  The removal of the supplement agreement will result in the loss of job security. The employer tabled language that would weaken the layoff section of the collective agreement.

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Unifor represents more than 2,000 maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff at VIA Rail.

Unifor’s bargaining committees are in Montreal this week and are committed to meet with VIA Rail right up to the strike deadline of 12am on Monday July 11, 2022.

Via Rail Canada Inc., operating as Via Rail or Via, is a Canadian Crown corporation that is mandated to operate intercity passenger rail service in Canada. It receives an annual subsidy from Transport Canada to offset the cost of operating services connecting remote communities.

Unifor is a general trade union in Canada and the largest private sector union in Canada. It was founded in 2013 as a merger of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions, and consists of 310,000 workers and associate members in industries ranging from manufacturing and media to aviation, forestry and fishing. In January 2018, the union left the Canadian Labour Congress, Canada’s national trade union center, to become independent.

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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