|TCRC - VIA Rail strike ends
VIA Rail trains will be rolling again later Sunday after the company and the union for striking locomotive engineers and yardmasters
agreed to settle their differences through binding arbitration, ending a two-day walkout.
The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and VIA Rail came to an agreement early Sunday morning after meeting with a
federally appointed mediator.
The strike had paralyzed train passenger traffic across the country and forced VIA to issue ticket refunds to thousands of customers.
VIA Rail Canada normally shuttles about 11,000 passengers around the country every day — and as many as 12,500 daily during
the summer tourism season.
Improved work schedules, benefits and training are among the demands of the 340 engineers, who have been without a contract
for 2½ years.
VIA Rail announced Saturday that it had issued layoff notices to hundreds of employees who work on trains and in stations and
maintenance centres. Those employees have been recalled, said VIA Rail spokesman Malcolm Andrews.
"We're very happy to get things moving during this incredibly important time of year," Andrews said after announcing that Arbitrator
Michel Picher will be ruling on outstanding issues in the dispute.
VIA Rail will be looking at "innovative" ways to apologize to customers for the inconvenience caused by the strike, he said.
VIA Rail has 10 departures scheduled Sunday, starting around 6 p.m. ET.
Trains will leave Montreal for arrivals in Halifax, Gaspé, Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec City. Others will leave Toronto for Montreal
and destinations in Ontario, including Ottawa, Sarnia, Windsor and London.
Full service on routes across the country was to be restored on Monday.
CAW National Council 4000 represents the vast majority of employees at VIA Rail across Canada, those who work on-board
services as Service Managers and Chefs, and off-board services such as Customer Service Representatives, Station Attendants,
Baggage Handlers and various administrative positions. CAW Local 100 represents the corporation's Carmen and Machinists.
July 24, 2009 - TCRC strike hits VIA Rail
July 23, 2009 - TCRC issues 72 hour strike notice at VIA Rail Canada