Via Rail has announced that it is temporarily suspending 1000 VIA Rail employees due to the ongoing blockades across the country.
Though, service will resume from Thursday, February 20 in Southwestern Ontario and Ottawa -Quebec City corridor, VIA Rail stated that they have no choice but to continue the cancellation of its services on a large part of its network, until CN Rail opens the remaining tracks for service.
Hence Via Rail in a press release said, “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.”
Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer calling this an unprecedented situation in Via Rail’s 42 years history said, “It is the first time that VIA Rail, a public intercity passenger rail service, has to interrupt most of its services across the country. 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.”
Sudbury-White River (CP Rail) and Churchill-The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway) lines remain open.