VIA Rail laid of 1000 unionized workers across the country on July 8, 2020. The Northern B.C. route of Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert route is not affected, a company spokesperson told Black Press. (Photo: Shannon Lough/The Northern View)

VIA Rail laid of 1000 unionized workers across the country on July 8, 2020. The Northern B.C. route of Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert route is not affected, a company spokesperson told Black Press. (Photo: Shannon Lough/The Northern View)

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

VIA Rail laid off approximately 1,000 unionized workers across the country on July 8, with the “difficult decision” announced in a statement from the transportation provider, issued on the same day.

The temporary layoffs do not affect service on the Northern route B.C. route, which will run as scheduled.

“Service between Jasper-Prince George-Prince Rupert will continue according to the resumption plan shared last May 26,” Karl-Philip Marchand Giguere public relations advisor, told Black Press.

“While VIA Rail has observed recent positive developments in service resumption, many routes are still interrupted. This has therefore led VIA Rail to reconsider its approach in order to further adjust to the increasing financial impacts this crisis has had on the company,” the statement said.

READ MORE: Train route opens to Prince Rupert

COVID-19 is just one of the cited reasons for the cross country employee terminations which will take effect on July 24.

“The current year has been filled with unprecedented challenges. First with the blockades in February and now with the ongoing pandemic, we have made every effort to protect our employees to the best of our abilities against the impacts of the service reductions,” Cynthia Garneau, president and chief executive officer of VIA Rail said.

“Unfortunately, as we don’t anticipate ridership to be back to pre-COVID-19 levels in the foreseeable future, we have had to make difficult decisions to deal with the situation as we gain a better understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on our operations.”

The passenger rail company said this is a very difficult situation for its employees and their families, but that they will be taken care of during the transitional period.

Affected employees will receive a temporary written layoff notice, which respects the terms of the collective agreements. To accompany its employees during these challenging times, VIA Rail will be maintaining access to different programs, the company said.

“VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019.”

“VIA Rail continues to work on advancing its service resumption plan as the situation evolves, with the objective of reintegrating its employees as soon as the customer demand allows it,” VIA Rail said.

READ MORE: New mask policy on VIA Rail trains


K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Update: Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections, 4 in ICU

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital, 4 in intensive care

A new wood chip shelter was constructed this fall to house chips for the boiler serving the North Thompson Sportsplex. The shelter was built by OTL Construction and chips will be supplied by local contractor Max Gunster. The shelter will allow a six-month stock supply of chips. From l-r: TNRD Director A Carol Schaffer, DOC Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Marshall McRae of OTL Construction and Gunster of Max Gunster Contracting. (Stephanie Hagenaars photo)
New chip shelter helps to keep energy costs low for District of Clearwater

After the Canfor mill shutdown in 2019, the District of Clearwater began… Continue reading

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read