The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) announced today that its members have ratified a four-year contract with VIA Rail Canada (VIA). The TCRC represents some 350 employees working as locomotive engineers and yardmasters at VIA. The ratification follows an agreement in principle which was reached last April 8.
The contract was given a strong vote of support by union members, who voted close to 89 % to accept it. The four-year agreement, which is retroactive to January 1, 2011, includes wage increases of 2%, 2.5%, 3% and 3%, improvements to benefits and the introduction of a Health Care Spending Account to help offset benefit costs for retirees.
“We feel that this contract is fair and that it balances the best interests of the company and our employees,” said VIA’s president and chief executive officer, Marc Laliberté. “Having this four-year agreement in place provides stability from a business and customer service perspective, and positions us well to tackle future challenges as a team.”
“I’m pleased with this collective agreement,” stated Rex Beatty, President of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. “I think it indicates that a partnership is possible between VIA Rail and the workers we represent.”