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Rail News: Labor

VIA Rail, Unifor ink tentative pact to avert strike


VIA Rail Canada Inc. on Sunday announced that it averted a potential strike by reaching a tentative four-year agreement with Unifor, the union that represents more than half of the passenger railroad's workers.

News of the pact came two days after VIA Rail warned riders of a potential strike by Unifor workers. Service interruptions could have started early yesterday.

Unifor represents 1,800 of VIA Rail's 2,500 workers. Represented employees work in stations, customer service centers, maintenance centers and administrative offices.

"We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement. The positive outcome of these negotiations accurately reflects the focus of all employees of the corporation to provide superior service to our passengers," said VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Yves Desjardins-Siciliano in a press release.

Details of the agreement will be released upon ratification, which is expected to take place over the next three weeks. The pact has the "full support" of Unifor's master bargaining committee, union officials said in a press release.