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VIA Rail Canada has endorsed collective agreements for around 2,400 staff, with an average wage increase of 3.83% over three years.

These employees work in stations, onboard trains, maintenance centres, VIA Customer Centre, and administrative offices.

Last month, VIA Rail signed tentative agreements with Unifor’s Council 4000 and Local 100, which represent around 2,400 employees.

VIA Rail stated that the ‘collective agreements one, two and three for members of Unifor’s Council 4000 and Local 100 will be retroactive to 1 January 2022 and in effect through 31 December 2024’.

The latest agreements will see employees receive a 5.5% pay hike this year, a 3.5% increase next year, and a 2.5% rise in 2024.

These agreements also cover revisions to various work rules, as well as will help deal with issues of diversity and inclusion.

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VIA Rail chief employee experience officer Martine Rivard said: “We are delighted with the ratification of these mutually beneficial agreements which will provide stability for the next three years, as well as increased flexibility to actively pursue the recovery of our services and advance VIA Rail’s important modernisation projects.”

Last month, Unifor Council 4000 and Local 100 issued a 72 hours’ strike notice to VIA Rail following the failure of talks to advance.

In a statement, Unifor noted that VIA Rail was looking for concessions that included scrapping the supplemental agreement for union members.

“The removal of the supplemental agreement will result in the loss of job security,” the union said.