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VIA workers hold national protest to keep jobs in Canada

December 11, 2018 - 12:00 AM

December 12, 2018

MONTREAL – Today Unifor members who work for VIA Rail Canada will send a strong message to their employer and the federal government at train stations across Canada.

“This crown corporation should be creating good Canadian jobs and building a national rail service that we can all be proud of, not contracting out work to foreign multinational companies,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

The workers will be handing out leaflets in protest of VIA’s recent announcement that it’s cutting jobs and contracting out work to foreign companies. Taxpayers are being urged to contact their MP’s and Transport Minister Marc Garneau to demand VIA work stays in Canada.

Where: VIA Stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Moncton.            

When: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. local time with the exception of Moncton which will take place 4:30-5:30 Atlantic Time.

Who:    VIA workers and local union leaders

VIA Rail Canada is a Federal Crown Corporation that receives most of its funding from Canadian Taxpayers. VIA recently announced it is cutting hundreds of Canadian jobs and will contract that work out to an American company called

Aramark. Additionally, Siemens, a German company, appears to be the top pick for the upcoming fleet renewal project, even though it has no vested interest in Canada.  Aramark and its subsidiaries earned worldwide sales in excess of $19 million in 2017 while Siemens and its subsidiaries earned nearly $30 billion in 2017.

Unifor is also calling for a national transportation strategy with supporting legislation for VIA to promote a safe, affordable, accessible and environmentally friendly transportation system from the Maritimes to the Corridor, including South Western Ontario,  and the Western Prairies, all the way to British Columbia.

Locations and Local Media Contacts:

Vancouver -  Paul Topham (604)799-3102, Pacific Central Station, 1150 Station St., Vancouver, BC

Winnipeg - Laura Hazlitt (431) 335-3635, VIA Rail Station, 123 Main St., Winnipeg, MB

Toronto - Andrew Stephen (647)669-8723, Union Station, 65 Front St, Toronto, ON

Ottawa - Rony Kiwan (613) 862-4738, VIA Rail Station, 200 Tremblay Rd., Ottawa, ON

Montreal - Mario Laroche (514)-891-7982, VIA Rail Station (CN building) 895 de la Gauchetiere Ouest, Montreal, QC

Quebec City - Nathalie Dion (418) 455-4686, Via Rail Station, Gare du Palais, 450 rue de la Gare du Palais, Quebec City, QC

Moncton  - Jennifer Murray (506) 380-4032, at 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. VIA Rail Station, 1240 Main St., Moncton, NB

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Unifor Director of Communications Natalie Clancy at or 416-707-5794 (cell) or Quebec communications representative Marie-Andrée L'Heureux or  514-916-7373 (cell).