Via Rail travellers are breathing a sigh of relief.
Via and Unifor narrowly avoided a strike late Sunday night that could have impacted travel plans for thousands on Monday.
Word of the tentative agreement was announced on Via Rail’s website Sunday night.
“Via Rail Canada is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Unifor, the union representing the large portion of Via Rail’s employees who work in stations, customer centres, maintenance centres, on board trains as well as administrative personnel,” the statement said.
The agreement with Unifor Local 100 and Unifor National Council 4000 covers nearly 2,000 customer service, on-board service and maintenance staff.
In a statement, Unifor said members across the country will vote over the next three weeks and that details of the agreement won’t be released until after the deal is passed.
Unifor National President Jerry Dias flew to Gatineau Sunday to join the union’s bargaining team. In a statement Dias said “Unifor is dedicated to protecting good jobs for our members, and that’s what this agreement accomplished.”
Dias added they were pleased the two sides could reach a tentative agreement without a service interruption.
There had been some concern a deal wouldn’t be reached. So much so, Via encouraged travellers to modify their plays if they “”absolutely [needed] to travel” earlier in the day on Sunday.
Via had pledged to provide refunds or future credit to any travellers who had to make alternate arrangements.