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Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt has convened both Air Canada’s management and the leadership of the union representing its flight attendants to her office in Ottawa at 5pm this afternoon. CUPE National President Paul Moist will be representing employees at the meeting in the nation’s capital. At the same time, and despite the Minister’s invitation to meet, the Air Canada Component of CUPE with its President Jeff Taylor is still at the table in Montreal with Air Canada management. Both sides have been negotiating for over 30 hours in the hopes of coming to an agreement and averting a strike.

Flight attendants have been without a contract since March 31, 2011. They will be ina legal strike position starting at one minute past midnight on Wednesday September 21, 2011, unless a deal is reached before then.

In August, flight attendants rejected a tentative agreement by 87.8 per cent. They later voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate.

The Air Canada flight attendants are emergency specialists whose primary role is to ensure the safety of over 100,000 passengers who travel each day in Canada and around the world. In total, CUPE represents nearly 9,500 members in air transport, including Air Transat, Calm Air, Air Canada, Canadian North, CanJet Airlines, Cathay Pacific, First Air and Porter.

CUPE is the largest union in Canada with over 610,000 members working in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public services, urban and air transport, emergency services and communications.

For more information:

Pierre Ducasse
CUPE Media Relations