Sunday, July 26, 2009

Via back on the tracks as both sides agree to binding arbitration

The nation's rail disupte lasted but one and a half days, Via rail which had previously cancelled all future departures of the national railway network, was busy on Saturday night trying to get the trains back on schedule.

The breakthrough in the labour dispute between the passenger carrier and its Locomotives union came when both sides agreed to meet in binding arbitration to resolve their differences, clearing the way for a full resumption of service on Sunday evening.

Full service to the entire network, which was shut down on Friday, is expected to be in place by Monday morning.

The prospect of a lengthy disruption in service at the height of the summer travel season had many concerned not only for the health of the Via service, but for tourist destinations across the nation which receive a healthy volume of visitors by rail.

Locally, the Skeena run had been cancelled earlier this week, as Via attempted to reduce the impact on travellers, the Prince Rupert bound train was stopped in Prince George, where travellers were to find other arrangements to their final desitnations.

The announcement of a breakthrough in negotiations came just hours after Via had issued layoff notices to the majority of their serive employees, layoffs that were rescinded once the two sides agreed to binding arbitration.

Service updates can be found at the Via website (click here) or you can phone their toll free number of 1 888 842-7245 for further details. Via Rail trains to resume service Sunday
Canadian Press-- Via Rail service to resume late Sunday

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