VIA Rail and Union reach agreement

TORONTO [Peter Paul Media] — VIA Rail Canada and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference [TCRC], which represents some 343 locomotive engineers and seven yard masters, have reached an agreement Sunday to end a two-day strike which crippled rail travel plans for thousands of people.

The two parties have agreed to go into binding arbitration, which means that a deal will be worked out with a third party body. A federal mediator was assigned on Friday by the federal government to assist with the negotiations.

“The process proposed by the mediator will allow the parties to resolve outstanding issues and, most importantly, will get Canada’s passenger rail service up and running again for our customers,” Paul Côté, VIA’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said Sunday.

“Service will resume late on Sunday with full service on most routes by Monday morning,” a VIA Rail statement said.

Union members walked off the job at noon Friday, stranding thousands of passengers at stations across Canada, forcing many to cancel their plans or seek alternate routes.

Dan Shewchuk, president of the TCRC, thanked his members, saying he looked forward to “having our members back on the trains.”

The planned layoffs of other VIA unionized employees have been cancelled.

The Teamsters Union represents some 125,000 members in Canada in various trades.

For the latest updates from VIA Rail, visit:

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