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OTTAWA - The Canadian Union of Public Employees and Air Canada agreed today to a process to resolve the labour dispute between the company and 6,800 flight attendants who are members of CUPE. At a meeting at the Canada Industrial Relations Board, the parties agreed that arbitration is the best way to resolve the contract dispute in order to come up with a binding agreement.

Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, said he is pleased that the parties were able to come to an agreement on a process. “Our members deserve a fair collective agreement and I believe in the present circumstances arbitration is the best way to achieve that goal. These have been difficult negotiations in particular, because of threats of back to work legislation by the federal government and the Minister of Labour’s referral to the CIRB which blocked the legal right to strike of flight attendants,” said Moist. “In this context arbitration is the best option.”

Hearings will commence October 28 and a binding arbitration award will be issued on or before November 7. The parties will meet to discuss a mutually agreeable arbitrator. If there is no agreement on an arbitrator, the Canada Industrial Relations Board will appoint one.

Both parties also agreed to withdraw unfair labour practice complaints filed by Air Canada on October 12 and by CUPE on September 19.

Moist met with thousands of flight attendants by telephone town hall yesterday to discuss options and hear their views in advance of today’s meeting at the CIRB


For more information:

Heather Fraser, CUPE Communication, 613-850-7372 or hfraser@cupe.ca

Pierre Ducasse, CUPE Communications, 613-852-1494 or pducasse@scfp.ca