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Via Rail strike averted with last-minute deal with Unifor

Deal prevents 2,400 workers from walking off the job, still has to be ratified by the union
A Via Rail employee stands beside the entrance to a new train on display at the train station in Ottawa, Tuesday, November 30, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Officials with Via Rail and Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 have announced a tentative deal has been struck just ahead of a deadline that would have seen some 2,400 workers walk off the job.

A late-night statement from Via Rail says the deal, which still has to be ratified by the union, will be retroactive to January 1, 2022 and in effect through December 31, 2024.

Details of the new contract have not been released, but a statement from Unifor says they will be once it has been ratified by members.

With the strike averted, Via Rail noted that the tentative agreements give travelling Canadians a break from the uncertainty of a possible shutdown.

Unifor’s lead negotiator, Scott Doherty, offered up his thanks to the union members and the travelling public, “for their patience and support, while we continued to negotiate past the strike deadline to achieve this agreement.”

As talks continued to progress, the union offered to push back several deadlines that would have initiated the job action and derailed the company’s operations, coast to coast.

— Canadian Press

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