Via Rail gets strike notice from union

1,800 Via employees could strike as early as Monday

MONTREAL – Via Rail says it has received notice that one of its unions could go on strike as early as Monday.

The Montreal-based passenger rail service got the 72-hour notice from Unifor, which represents 1,800 Via employees who work in stations, telephone sales offices, maintenance centres and administrative offices.

Via Rail says the notice is part of normal negotiations under federal law and doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a strike or lockout.

The earliest service disruptions could begin would be Monday just after midnight.

The federal Crown corporation says no trains are affected by the strike notice and it is encouraged by the positive tone of negotiations between the two sides.

The government-owned railway carries about 10,000 passengers a day, on average.

Via Rail says if a strike begins, trains in transit would complete their trips before all services would be suspended for the duration of the strike and until normal operations can safely resume.

Negotiations began on Oct. 30 and are being conducted with the assistance of mediators assigned by the federal government.

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