TORONTO, July 13, 2016 /CNW/ - Members of Unifor Local 100 and National Council 4000 have voted to accept a new four-year deal with VIA Rail. The agreement, reached June 12, 2016, was overwhelmingly accepted by a margin of 80% nationwide.
"Our members are dedicated to providing reliable service to VIA Rail customers and we fully expected the company to recognize our efforts," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. "This agreement continues to build on the solid gains at the bargaining table and would not have been possible without the solid support of our members."
The negotiated benefits of the new collective agreement include enhanced benefits, improved contract language and wage increases in each year of the agreement. Wages will improve by 2% retroactive to January 1, 2016 and then by 2.5 %, 2.5% and 3% in the following years.
"This round of bargaining presented a unique set of challenges, nonetheless we were determined to make gains in wages and benefits and deal with matters of importance to our members," said Local 100 President Ken Hiatt.
Unifor represents over 2,000 VIA Rail employees including maintenance workers, on-board service personnel, chefs, sales agents and customer service staff.
"Not only did we enhance wages and benefits, several work rules were addressed and improved," said Danny Andru, National Council 4000 Secretary Treasurer. "Moreover important items such as job sharing and mediation-arbitration were renewed."
Members from Halifax to Vancouver attended information meetings to receive direct reports from their respective bargaining committee representatives before casting their ballots on the tentative agreement.
"The solid ratification indicates we met our members' expectations on the bread and butter issues, while also introducing important new initiatives such as Unifor's Woman's Advocate program and the Canadian Community Fund," said National Council 4000 President Barry Kennedy.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 members.
For further information: Unifor Communications National Representative, Kathleen O'Keefe at Kathleen.OKeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell)