Unifor calls on federal government for funds to keep rail service in the
MONCTON, NB, Feb. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Unifor is expressing its
disappointment that Canadian National Railway will abandon a 70
kilometer section of railway and is raising concerns about the impact
it could have on passenger rail in the region. The union is calling for
a public consultation before the section of rail can be abandoned.
The 70 kilometer track is considered the most significant part of the
Newcastle Subdivision —the middle between Nelson Junction and
Nepisiquit Junction — and was not included in the agreement between the
New Brunswick government and CN Rail. This will mean that there will be
no connection on the line between the Bathurst and Moncton areas.
"The decision by CN Rail and the New Brunswick government could leave
part of the province without adequate rail services, particularly on
the Montreal to Halifax Ocean run," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, representing workers
at CN, CP and Via Rail. "If CN Rail is allowed to discontinue this
line it could have devastating effects on Via Rail's operations in
It is estimated that 50 per cent of passenger traffic on the Ocean run is generated north of Moncton in communities such as Rogersville,
Miramichi, Bathurst, Petit Rocher, Jacquet River, Charlo and
Campbellton (in New Brunswick) as well as Matepedia , Causapascal,
Amqui, Sayabec, Mont Joli, Rimouski, Trois Pistoles and River Du Loup
(in Quebec). "These communities could be at risk of no passenger rail
service if CN Rail is allowed to discontinue this line," said Dias.
Dias said the abandonment of this important section of the line could
put Via Rail Canada in great jeopardy in Atlantic Canada and eastern
Quebec. "Even if Via Rail were to decide to operate on the
Edmundston-Moncton Subdivision, it would not generate the passenger
revenue needed to sustain itself."
Unifor is calling on the CN Rail to maintain ownership and maintenance
of this vital link in eastern Canada and the New Brunswick government
to hold a public consultation. The union is also calling on the federal
government to provide funding and work with the affected provincial and
municipal governments, CN Rail and Via Rail to ensure that this
important link is maintained to provide passenger rail service to New
Brunswick and Quebec at current levels.
Unifor represents approximately 8,000 railway workers across Canada.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, with more than
300,000 members across Canada, and some 156,000 in Ontario. It was
founded Labour Day weekend when the Canadian Auto Workers and the
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
In December, Unifor launched its vision for passenger rail renewal -
read it here: http://www.unifor.org/en/take-action/campaigns/passenger-rail-canada
SOURCE: Unifor the union
For further information:
please contact: Unifor Council 4000 Regional Representative Patrick Murray 506-852-9221 or Unifor National Representative Bob Fitzgerald (cell) 416-402-1787