TORONTO – VIA Rail says that 1000 workers will be receiving layoff notices as train service has been cancelled due to CN Rail’s decision to suspend service over the blockade of rail lines.
VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) was pleased to have obtained authorization yesterday from CN Rail to resume partial service between Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa, and to resume regular service in Southwestern Ontario (Toronto-Sarnia-Windsor-London-Niagara Falls) starting Thursday, February 20.
Despite these latest developments, however, until CN Rail opens the remaining tracks for service, VIA Rail has no choice but to continue the cancellation of its services on a large part of its network, with the exception of the Sudbury-White River (CP Rail) and Churchill-The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway) lines.
Therefore, it is with sincere regret that we must proceed with temporary work suspensions. Starting today, close to 1000 VIA Rail employees will receive a notice regarding this matter. The terms of the collective agreements will be respected with regards to the notices given to unionized employees.
“This general interruption is an unprecedented situation in our history. In 42 years of existence, it is the first time that VIA Rail, a public intercity passenger rail service, has to interrupt most of its services across the country,” declared Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Since the beginning of the crisis, we have been closely working with the infrastructure owner in order to formulate a progressive, safe and orderly resumption plan. We have done everything to mitigate the impact on our employees and our passengers. At this point, we believe we have made the fairest and most reasonable decision with the proposed temporary suspension plan. I would like to thank all our union partners for their collaboration and comprehension.”
VIA Rail hopes that all of its services will resume as soon as possible and that it will be able to welcome back its employees and passengers quickly. The Corporation hopes for a decisive resolution between the various parties. It commends the ongoing dialogue efforts.