|December 23, 2006
Delegates to the December CAW Council debate the future of VIA Rail
|was front and centre at CAW Council.
The CAW passed a resolution at the December CAW Council calling on the Harper government to immediately commit long term
funding to ensure a strong future for VIA Rail service and the thousands of Canadian jobs it provides. The CAW has launched a
national campaign to bring public attention to the need to properly fund VIA.
Bob Fitzgerald, CAW Council 4000 president, said the VIA resolution debated at CAW Council is about ensuring the issues facing VIA
Rail are brought forward into public debate. He said the future of VIA is critical in terms of many issues including jobs, commerce,
tourism, the environment, the isolation of northern communities that rely on VIA, rural commuters, students and others. “We’re talking
about tying a nation together from coast to coast to coast,” Fitzgerald said.
Bryon DeBaets, president of CAW Local 100, urged delegates to support the campaign by signing post cards, talking to co-workers,
and their MPs. He said VIA plays a critical role connecting communities across the country and he stressed CAW members who work
at VIA take great pride in the work they do.
The 2,500 CAW members at VIA – whether they work on board trains serving passengers, at ticket windows or in shopcraft – are all
concerned about the future of their jobs. Delegates heard that under the Harper government VIA Rail’s future is clearly in jeopardy.
Council voted in favour of CAW president's Buzz Hargrove’s recommendation for all CAW local unions to fully support the VIA funding
The CAW is calling for an immediate funding commitment of $800 million from the federal government to invest in new VIA Rail
capital and to upgrade existing infrastructure.
The CAW’s campaign includes postcards, billboards and information leaflets that highlight concerns over the future of the passenger