Air Canada flight attendants are asking for a federal conciliator to assist in negotiations with the airline. The Air Canada Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, on behalf of its over 6,800 flight attendant members at the airline, filed its request with the Federal Mediations and Conciliation Services after reaching an impasse on several key issues with the airlines management.
“The union’s proposals have been fair, but Air Canada seems intent on pushing for unreasonable concessions from its flight attendants,” said Jeff Taylor, president of the AC Component of CUPE. “We are left with no choice but to ask for a conciliator’s assistance in the hopes they will help us and Air Canada find some common ground.”
The collective agreement between the flight attendants and Air Canada expired last March. Negotiations for a new contract have been underway since April 6, and all proposals from both parties have been presented.
The union proposals included fair wage increases and much needed improvements in working conditions. Air Canada is demanding several concessions which would increase workloads, reduce health benefits, and make drastic changes to the pension plan.
“Our members have already done more than their fair share in helping Air Canada get to a secure financial footing, and now that the airline has returned to profitability management asks for even more,” says Taylor. “Top Air Canada executives just gave themselves huge salary increases while at the same time trying to strip flight attendants of their pensions. It is outrageous and totally unacceptable.”
The Air Canada Component of CUPE filed Notice of Dispute under the Canada Labour Code, section 71, on June 3, 2011. The union intends to request further negotiation sessions with Air Canada while waiting for a conciliator to be assigned, which should happen within in the next 15 days.
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