Unifor Council 4000 ratifies VIA Rail collective agreement — TORONTO, March 15, 2021 /CNW/ – Members of Unifor Council 4000 voted overwhelmingly to accept a collective agreement with VIA Rail that builds on gains for the future.
“My congratulations go out to Council 4000, the bargaining committee, and every member who supported their union through this long and difficult round of negotiations,” said Jerry Dias, “Unifor National President. “While the country’s passenger rail service was suddenly left at a stand-still, the committee still negotiated a deal that improves working conditions for all members.”
“We are delighted by the ratification of the collective agreements. Our employees are key contributors to VIA Rail’s success, without whom the fulfillment of our mission to put our passengers first would not be possible,” said Martine Rivard, Chief Employee Experience Officer. “I would like to thank Unifor’s representatives and National President, Jerry Dias, as well as the negotiating teams and conciliator. The determination and professionalism of everyone involved led to fair and reasonable agreements despite the unique challenges faced over the last year. In addition to providing a safe, accessible, sustainable travel experience to our passengers, our team looks forward to continuing to build the VIA Rail of tomorrow by creating a more modern passenger rail service.”
“It shows the strength of Unifor, that during crisis in passenger rail, our union still addressed priorities that members needed to see in this new contract,” said Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director. “When rail workers unite with one another, and stand behind their union, we can make great gains.”
The new two-year contract covers 1,700 maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff at VIA Rail. Highlights include a two per cent wage increase for all workers, increased pension contributions for members of the hybrid plan, and new and improved benefits.
“This is a good agreement in truly exceptional times,” said Dave Kissack, Unifor Council 4000 President. “Even while at the bargaining table, we negotiated pandemic wage top-ups, benefits protections, and navigated unprecedented threats to members’ health and safety. Despite those challenges, we found a path to this contract that members have thrown their support behind.”
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.