After close to nine months of negotiations, a tentative agreement has been reached between the Air Transat flight attendants’ union (CUPE) and the airline, ending the threat of a strike.
“The tentative agreement will now be presented to our members at the three bases of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver,” said Nathalie Stringer, president of the Air Transat component, the bargaining unit representing 1,500 flight attendants. “The bargaining committee will recommend approval of the agreement, and out of respect for our flight attendants, we will not comment on the content of the agreement until it has been presented to our members in a ratification vote meeting,” she added.
In mid-June, the flight attendants rejected their employer’s contract offer by 95 per cent. They also voted 93 per cent in favour of a general strike mandate, to be launched at the appropriate time.
The Air Transat flight attendants, mostly women, are emergency specialists whose primary role is to ensure passenger safety. They have been working without a contract since November 1, 2010. They are divided into three local unions corresponding to their three bases: CUPE 4041 (722 members in Montreal-YUL), CUPE 4047 (approximately 570 members in Toronto-YYZ) and CUPE 4078 (226 members in Vancouver-YVR). The Air Transat Component oversees these three local unions.
In total, CUPE represents nearly 9,500 members in air transport, including Air Canada, Calm Air, Canadian North, CanJet Airlines, Cathay Pacific and First Air.