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VIA Rail Bargaining

Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 opened bargaining with VIA Rail in Montreal on October 25-26 as contracts near expiration for more than 2,000 members.

Unifor represents maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff at VIA Rail.

Members identified a number of key issues in this contract negotiation, including a strengthened pension plan, and end to contracting out, and made-in-Canada fleet sourcing.

The current collective agreements expire on December 31, 2019. No strike vote has been taken.

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Campaign Update

VIA Rail Bargaining Update # 2

11/13/2019 -

Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 met with VIA Rail in Montreal this week to continue bargaining.

Both committees continued to resolve outstanding grievances.

We then proceeded to exchange proposals with the Company and discussed work rules. We will
continue to work diligently to secure a fair contract for all members.

We reiterate that members identified a number of key issues in this contract negotiation, including a
strengthened pension plan, an end to contracting out, made-in-Canada fleet sourcing, part time and
work/rest rules.

Bargaining for Council 4000 will continue in the first week of December in Montreal and Local 100
will meet with the Company again during the last week of January in Montreal.

The Bargaining Committee remains determined to bargain the best agreement possible and is
working hard to secure gains for all members.

We would like to thank the membership for your continuing show of support.

This newsletter and the website are your best source for up to date information.

The union does not bargain in public, but we will use these tools to update you as often as possible.

We would ask all members to not listen to the Employer for updates, or entertain rumors that may
come up during the bargaining process. Please reach out to your local union representatives for
additional information or with questions.

Click here to read, print, or share this update (PDF).

Benefits Canada: VIA Rail, Unifor collective bargaining includes strengthening pension plan

11/1/2019 -

Unifor locals representing VIA Rail Canada Inc. employees have opened bargaining in Montreal as contracts are set to expire for more than 2,000 members. Members identified a number of key issues for contract negotiation, including a strengthened pension plan, according to a press release.

“Members at VIA Rail have a two-tiered pension plan, awarded by the arbitrator and argued for by the company,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president, in an email to Benefits Canada. “Employees hired before 2014 contribute to a defined benefit plan, which is in surplus. The benefit is 1.7 per cent up to the [year’s maximum pensionable earnings] and two per cent above the YMPE times their years of credited service to a maximum of 35 years. Members contribute 8.2 per cent up to the YMPE and nine per cent above the YMPE towards their pension.”

“While these differences in benefits are already vastly unfair, additional changes add insult to injury,” he said. “The so-called hybrid plan eliminates pre-retirement spousal benefits, puts conditions on indexation and prevents any transfers or lump-sum payments to the DC side of the plan.”

Article (English only) https://www.benefitscanada.com/news/via-rail-unifor-collective-bargaining-includes-strengthening-pension-plan-137925

VIA Rail Bargaining Update # 1

11/1/2019 -

Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 opened bargaining with VIA Rail in Montreal on October 25-26 as contracts near expiration for more than 2,000 members.

The opening included introductions and an exchange of proposals, and significant progress in the resolution of outstanding grievances. Your bargaining committees will continue to work diligently to secure a fair contract for all members.

Members identified a number of key issues in this contract negotiation, including a strengthened pension plan, improvements to rest provisions and sick days, an end to contracting out, and made-in-Canada fleet sourcing.

“Unifor members are looking forward to delivering the highest quality service for passengers today, and through the next generation of rail infrastructure. These bargaining teams are experienced, and ready to represent workers in the fight for a fair contract.” 

Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

“As we look toward a greener future with increased use of passenger rail, Unifor’s goal is to ensure that jobs in the sector remain good jobs with fair pay, decent benefits, and a dignified retirement.”

Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director.

Unifor represents maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff at VIA Rail. The current collective agreements expire on December 31, 2019. No strike votes have been taken.

Bargaining and grievance resolution meetings will continue November 5-8 in Montreal. The Bargaining Committee remains determined to bargain the best agreement possible and is working hard to secure gains for all members.

This newsletter and the website are your best source for up to date information.

The union does not bargain in public, but we will use these tools to update you as often as possible. We would ask all members to not listen to the Employer for updates, or entertain rumours that may come up during the bargaining process. Please reach out to your local union representatives for additional information or with questions.

We would like to thank the membership for their continuing show of support.

Click here to read, print, or share this update (PDF).