The threat of a strike that has been looming over Air Canada has dissipated. Tuesday afternoon, an agreement in principle was reached between the airline and the union, represented by the Air Canada Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). The deal was made just hours after flight attendants held rallies in cities across the country.
Union President Jeff Taylor said, “The union’s executive committee will recommend that its members accept this tentative agreement”. He added that details about the deal would be made public only after the contract has been ratified by the unionized workers.
In order to approve the new contract with Air Canada, the union has to submit the tentative agreement to members nationwide. General meetings will be held in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. The consultation process will take at least one week. In the meantime, the union has lifted the order to strike and asks members to respect their regular schedules and assignments.
The new labour contract was hammered out after marathon talks that began August 31st. Both sides were assisted by two mediators from the federal Labour Department.
In August, the flight attendants rejected a first tentative agreement by 87.8 per cent. They later voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate. Flight attendants have been without a contract since March 31, 2011
The Air Canada flight attendants are emergency specialists whose primary role is to ensure 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:
CUPE Media Relations