Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and the Via Rail Canada have agreed very late last night to appeal to a Federal arbitrator who will impose a new collective agreement to both parties.
The strike of Via Rail's Locomotive Engineers and yardmasters will therefore end at noon today.
"We reached the conclusion that there was no possible agreement in the short term, said Daniel J. Shewchuk, President of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), which represents about 340 workers of Via Rail. “That is why the parties came to the agreement to submit their outstanding issues to final and binding arbitration."
Non-monetary issues are the main points in dispute between the parties but wages, although not the main focus, are one of the outstanding issues.
"The strike may have lasted for weeks or months,” says the president of the TCRC. “After taking all the issues into consideration, we decided that the best course of action for everyone involved would be to address our issues by an Arbitrator. The decision to go on strike was not an easy decision but we had to do something motivate the employer and get the process moving”.
The arbitrator has been put into place and the issues will be addressed as early as mid August.
The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications, Teamsters Canada