“Unifor members look forward to providing superior service today and with the next generation of rail infrastructure. These bargaining teams are experienced and ready to represent workers in the fight for a fair contract. Unifor continued negotiations with Canada`s national rail carrier VIA Rail Canada during the week of January 28 to 31. Unifor`s two bargaining committees, National Council 4000 (1600 members who serve Agreements 1 and 2) and Local 100 (600 members who serve Accord 3) met with the Crown Corporation last week in Montreal. Council 4000 has raised concerns about excessive part-time work, interventions and hours, while Local 100 continues to address the fleet replacement program, in which VIA will introduce 32 new trains for use in Quebec and Ontario. The union is committed to ensuring that repairs and maintenance of this new fleet continue to be carried out by local members of 100 members. Both bargaining committees remain committed to negotiating the best possible agreement and are working hard to achieve benefits for all members. Council 4000 is in a position to combat concessions on the basis of estoppeln. Estoppel is a legal defense that is used when a party to the collective agreement does not break or contradict a previous agreement, but Unifor does not agree with the company`s assertion or concessions. Last week, Unifor filed a controversial report with the federal Minister of Labour, in which it reviewed the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) in our collective bargaining with VIA Rail regarding the renewal of Collective Agreements 1 and 2, which includes 1700 members of Unifor Council 4000. As negotiations approach a critical period for both groups, Unifor railway members must remain united. Moving forward in this conciliation process is one of the instruments we have as a union to increase our power at the bargaining table, set fixed dates with the employer and stay strong in our demands. We need the united support of members to achieve these goals.
How can members help get a better contract? The first step in supporting a stronger contract is to add your name to the growing list of members who are committed to staying with Unifor and saying no to the CSN robbery. Get started today by applying for your join.unifor.org/viarail card. The purpose of the conciliation procedure is to help the parties settle their disputes. The mediator has a 60-day renewable mandate between the parties. A 21-day cooling-off period begins at the end of the conciliation period described above. . . .