“Overwhelming” strike mandate from VIA Rail workers
Credit: VIA Rail

Union representing 2,000+ VIA Rail workers gives 72-hour strike notice

MONTREAL — VIA Rail workers with unions Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 have given 72 hours’ strike notice to VIA Rail after talks failed to progress.

“VIA Rail workers are frustrated that the employer continues to push concessions and not work towards a fair and equitable collective agreement for our members,” said Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to Unifor’s National President and lead negotiator. “Unifor members at VIA are highly skilled and contributed to the success of the company. We will do whatever it takes to get members the collective agreement that they deserve.”

If the more than 2,000 maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff at VIA Rail cannot reach a deal by Monday, July 11, 2022 at 00:01 a.m. EDT, they will be on the picket line.

Bargaining between the union and VIA Rail was ongoing this week in Montreal. VIA Rail workers have issued an overwhelming strike mandate.

“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 Doherty. “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 favour of strike action at Local 100 and 99.3 % in favour of strike action from Council 4000 members.

According to the union update, at the bargaining 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. In the union view, removal of the supplement agreement will result in the loss of job security.