97 % Of Air Canada’s Pilots Vote For Strike

13 March 2012 09.30am - Florence Fullalove (Updated from 14/02/12)

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97 % Of Air Canada’s Pilots Vote For Strike

The Air Canada Pilots Association, the union representing Air Canada’s pilots, voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action on February 15th. The union, of about 3,000 pilots, said that a strike was necessary to press their demands. Paul Strachan, the union’s president, said that despite the obvious support for strike action, the pilots have full intention of working out a deal, that they want to avoid hitting the picket lines and that customers should not panic. He said, “From the passengers’ perspective, the developments means they can book with confidence. This was a defensive manoeuvre only, and we have no intention of strike action at this point.”

Duncan Dee, Air Canada’s executive vice president said, “We are committed to a negotiated settlement with our pilots and look forward to a final resolution to these long-standing negotiations.” Air Canada has had a tough time recently, trying to reduce costs in order to cope with the rising fuel bills and the impact of a sluggish U.S. economy.

The Federal government put pressures on both sides to avoid disruptions as they feel a strike would only harm Canada’s economy during what is a fragile recovery. With both sides having been under in negotiations since 2010 many will want to see this issue resolve. Labour Minister Lisa Raitt said that she is offering Air Canada and its pilots a new mediator and a six-month process to help them settle their contract negotiations which will mean travellers can still keep booking their flights with Air Canada.

Today, (March 13th 2012) Canada’s Labour Minister, Lisa Raitt, has said submitted legislation to protect the Canadian economy and Canadian families. The legislation which has been titled, An Act to provide for the continuation and resumption of air service operations, would prevent a work stoppage at Air Canada.  The proposed legislation would send the issues in Air Canada’s labour disputes with the Air Canada Pilots Association and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to binding arbitration.

Raitt said, “Economic recovery remains our government’s top priority and grounded flight translate into lost opportunities for Canadian businesses and frustration for stranded travellers.” She added, “A work stoppage at Air Canada will take a toll on our fragile economy and that we simply can’t afford.” A work stoppage at Air Canada could cost the Canadian economy millions of dollars for every week that it continues.

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Related Links:
• Air Canada's Pilot Association
Negotiations set to continue
• Air Canada
Official site
• Latest News
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