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VIA Rail Canada Inc. on July 8 announced it will temporarily lay off 1,000 unionized employees due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
VIA Rail does not anticipate ridership to be back to pre-COVID-19 levels in the foreseeable future, and therefore has had to adjust to the increasing financial impacts the crisis has had on the company, VIA Rail officials said in a press release.
"The current year has been filled with unprecedented challenges. First with the [protest] blockades in February and now with the ongoing pandemic, we have made every effort to protect our employees to the best of our abilities against the impacts of the service reductions," said VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Garneau.
The employees affected will receive a temporary written layoff notice, which respects the terms of the collective agreements. These temporary layoffs will take effect on July 24.