Threat of strike at VIA Rail


Threat of strike at VIA Rail

A 72-hour walkout notice was issued by the union which represents 2,400 employees of the rail carrier. (Archives)

VIA Rail may have to suspend its network-wide services as of midnight on a Monday due to a strike. A 72-hour walkout notice has been issued by the union which represents 2,400 employees at the rail carrier.

The Unifor union represents VIA Rail employees working in stations, on board trains, in maintenance centres, in the VIA customer center and in administrative offices.

Between the June 20 and July 1, 2022, employees voted just over 99% in favor of a strike mandate.

According to the union, VIA Rail is maintaining its demands for concessions that would result in the loss of job security.

Negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement are still in progress, in the presence of a conciliator. The company wants to reach an agreement before the walkout is triggered.

VIA Rail has made every effort to reach an agreement with Unifor. We are continuing our discussions with the union and remain committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable agreement, President and CEO Martin R. Landry said in a statement.

Passengers board a VIA Rail train bound for Toronto at London station. (Archives)

The strike could be called as the tourism industry is experiencing a significant recovery across the country.

We regret deeply that this labor disruption negatively impacts our efforts to support the recovery of the Canadian tourism industry and deprives us of the essential role we play in transporting Canadians and connecting many remote communities, including Indigenous communities, says Martin R. Landry.

In the event of a strike, passengers could change their reservations free of charge or opt for a full refund of unused tickets.


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