CAW members ratify agreement with VIA Rail

    ST. JOHN'S, Aug. 10 /CNW/ - The more than 2,600 CAW members working at
VIA Rail have overwhelmingly ratified the new collective agreement by 82 per
cent overall.
    The new agreement is retroactive to January 1, 2007, including wages and
benefits and extends to December 31st, 2009. Members work in the areas of
maintenance, ticket sales, clerical and on-board services.
    The CAW master bargaining committee came to an agreement with VIA Rail
early in the morning of July 21, after days of round the clock negotiations,
avoiding a possible strike that would have halted services.
    "This is an excellent agreement which includes significant progress in
many areas such as an important gain in the new apprenticeship program in the
skilled trades agreement," said Bryon DeBaets, President of CAW Local 100.
    The collective agreement includes a three per cent per year wage
increase, new benefit improvements, including a new Long-Term Disability (LTD)
plan and an apprenticeship program for skilled trades and numerous changes
which improve the working lives of our members.
    "It was a challenging process and the bargaining committee should be
commended for their determination and the membership for their support of this
new agreement," said Bob Fitzgerald, President of CAW National Council 4000.
"This agreement has produced historic work rule changes and an update to
antiquated rules which will now provide improvements to the quality of work
life for our members."
    Improvements were also made in health and safety, employee assistance
programs, life insurance, seniority protection and increases in short term
    This settlement closely follows the pattern set earlier this year by CN
workers and puts in place historical improvements for CAW members at VIA Rail.

For further information:

For further information: CAW Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell)
(416) 302-1699

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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