Rail members meet to discuss common front


Representatives of Unifor’s 9,200 members in the rail sector met on September 12 to discuss strategies for establishing a common table for bargaining this fall.

“We’re stronger together,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Pattern bargaining can be an incredibly effective tool to secure a fair collective agreement sector-wide.”

Unifor’s rail membership includes workers in servicing and repair in the shop crafts, operations, onboard services, and ticketing across eight companies: Canadian National Rail, Via Rail, Canadian Pacific Rail, Ontario Northland, Toronto Terminal Railways, Savage Alberta Railway, Algoma Central Railway, and the Hudson Bay Railway.

At the meeting, members received presentations on benefits challenges, current issues in the skilled trades, effective mobilization, and bargaining communications, which paved the way for a wide-ranging strategy discussion about common bargaining demands.

“It was really encouraging to see us come together to find ways to work together and develop a plan of action,” said Zoltan Czippel, Vice President of the Mountain Region for Unifor Local 100. “Every round of bargaining in this sector is tough, so it makes sense for rail locals to present a united front.

Scott Doherty and Unifor rail members raise their fists in solidarity.