Monday, June 14, 2010

Union vote approves option to strike VIA Rail

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The option of a strike against VIA Rail Canada has been approved by more than 94% of Canadian Auto Workers members working for the railroad, CAW says. CAW represents more than 2,000 workers at VIA in on-train and clerical services, including ticket vendors and maintenance. 

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Members in Local 100 and National Council 4000 have voted to support the VIA Master Bargaining Committee as the committee ponders a strikedeadline of 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) Sunday, June 27. CAW says negotiations with VIA Rail management continue, with the next meeting scheduled for June 21 in Montreal, and running until the near-midnight deadline June 27, unless an agreement is reached.

“The bargaining committee remains determined to reach a settlement without a dispute but the corporation's concession demands must be stopped,” said CAW President Ken Lewenza. “Our bargaining committee, supported by the strong membership strike vote, are fighting to protect hard fought gains from past negotiations and are determined to enhance the working lives of the membership through this round of collective bargaining.”

CAW says it is the largest private-sector union in Canada, with more than 225,000 members.