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July 20, 2007
 
Countdown at VIA Rail as CAW prepares July 22nd strike action
The CAW continues to meet around the clock with VIA Rail Canada in attempt to reach a collective agreement prior to the deadline of 00:01 hours on July 22nd.  
The CAW served strike notice on the Crown Corporation on Tuesday, July 17th.  

CAW National Council 4000 and its five regionally based Local Unions represent VIA Rail employees who are employed as on-board train and customer
service personnel, station and baggage attendants, customer service representatives and ticket agents, various administrative positions, locomotive
attendants, hostlers and labourers.  CAW Local 100 represents VIA Rail’s shopcraft employees.

The CAW Bargaining Committees have been working through the many challenges they face at the bargaining table.  Since Monday of this week, the union has
been concentrating its efforts on the numerous non-economic issues of all three CAW-VIA Rail Collective Agreements (Agreements No. 1, 2 and 3).  The union
feels that they have made solid progress in each of the three agreements in what is commonly referred to as “non-economic issues,” dealing with day-to-day
concerns that affect members in the workplace.

The CAW has not yet been given any indication from VIA of an economic offer, but the union expects one by late Thursday evening or early today (Friday, July
20th).  The economic offer will cover wages and benefits.  The CAW Bargaining Committees remain solid in ensuring that VIA recognizes the incredible work
CAW members provide to the customers and the Corporation in their everyday responsibilities.

CAW President Buzz Hargrove has been in contact with the top leadership at VIA Rail and has encouraged them to move quickly and provide a fair and solid
offer to the CAW VIA Bargaining Committee.  Hargrove has committed the full and total support of the 265,000 members of the CAW across the country to its VIA
Rail membership.

The union remains optimistic that they will reach a fair settlement without the need of labour disruption, however, they want to underscore the importance that
there still remains serious issues to be resolved at the bargaining table.

Bargaining will continue in Montreal right up to the strike deadline.

The union has asked their membership not to take any action whatsoever and to continue working up to the deadline of 00:01 hours July 22nd.  

Related:

July 19 - CAW Railfax: Update on VIA Negotiations

July 16 - CAW VIA Rail members vote 93.6% in favour of strike action

June 14 - Update on negotiations between the CAW and VIA Rail
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