Trains at VIA Rail are continuing to operate as normal today after the company and its 2,200 unionized service, sales office and maintenance personnel reached a last-minute agreement.
The deal between the railway and the workers represented by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union literally came down to the wire — and for a while it looked like regular service could grind to a halt. As recently as last night, the CAW said the union and the employer were “still far apart” on a number of issues.
"Forty-eight hours ago, we honestly didn't think we'd get to this point. But we were determined to make this work," said Ken Hiatt, CAW Local 100 president..
Bob Orr, assistant to the CAW national president, said the union was “very pleased” to reach the tentative deal.
“This has been a long and emotional process for our master bargaining committee,” said Orr. “We’ve spent days engaged in very tense bargaining on issues most important to members and we’re happy to have settled this contract without a labour disruption.”
Details of the tentative settlement will be released to members in the coming days. The ratification schedule is also currently being developed.
VIA Rail said in the wake of the tentative deal, it will continue to operate according to its regular schedule.
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