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Late last week, Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) members at VIA Rail Canada Inc. voted to approve a series of collective bargaining agreements.The new three-year pacts include wage increases, improved job security for part-time workers, new joint apprenticeship committees and maintained benefit plans, according to a CAW-issued statement. A new job-sharing program also was negotiated; it enables employees to temporarily share a position or assignment to help improve work-life balance, particularly for those away from home, CAW officials said.The agreements, reached on June 13, cover 2,100 CAW members working at VIA Rail in station and onboard customer service and train maintenance operations.The CAW and Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union plan to merge, creating a single union — Unifor — that will hold its founding convention Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Toronto.
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