Via Rail employees boycott company meeting in Halifax
Union says it believes Via Rail is making service less convenient to justify future reductions
Close to 100 Via Rail employees boycotted a meeting hosted by the company president at the Westin Hotel in Halifax Friday.
Marc Laliberté, president of Via Rail, and an entourage of company executives were met by a sea of empty chairs.
Union leaders say the members avoided the meeting because they are sick of the company's rhetoric.
"The employees are completely and totally fed up with company," said Heather Grant, a Via worker and union leader.
"They are feeling very bad for the people that they service."
Grant says Via's decision to cut service to three days a week will eliminate up to 75 jobs and affect customer service.
The union says trains will now leave Halifax on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The union says it believes Via Rail is making rail service less convenient to justify future reductions.
"We haven't had a train on Tuesday for more than ten years so it seems to us that it will be death by a thousand cuts," Grant said.
"I have worked on board for 35 years and there's just no way this makes sense to anybody that has any knowledge of passenger rail service in this country."
Company officials have not commented on Friday's meeting.