Talks Ongoing at VIA, But Sides Still Far Apart

June 13, 2013, 7:06 PM EST

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Contract talks between the CAW and VIA Rail are currently taking place in Montreal, but the sides are still far apart on a number of outstanding issues, the union says.

"Talks are taking place at the committee level, and have been between high level officials over the past few hours, but we are still miles apart on key issues," said Bob Orr, Assistant to the CAW National President.

"The Corporation hasn't much wavered on some extraordinary concession demands that would radically impact our collective agreement, and that's holding things up."

VIA is looking to eliminate income security benefits for 500 precarious seasonal workers, strip part-time workers of job security provisions and cut pension benefits for new hires.

Orr said the union bargaining committee is not optimistic that a strike can be avoided at this late stage in the talks.

A strike deadline is set for 12:01 a.m. EST Friday June 14.

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