The union representing 6,800 Air Canada flight attendants rejects any suggestion it has been bargaining in bad faith with the airline. The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the unfair labour practice complaint filed by Air Canada is groundless.
“This complaint is a complete red-herring. The suggestion the Air Canada Component of CUPE has been bargaining in bad faith is ludicrous,” said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “This is just another transparent attempt to stall the flight attendants legal strike until back-to-work legislation can be put in place.”
The Air Canada Component of CUPE flight attendants have been in negotiations with Air Canada to renew their collective agreement since April 2011. In its complaint, Air Canada alleges that because the tentative agreement reached on September 20, 2011 was rejected by the members, the union was not bargaining in good faith.
“This tentative agreement was rejected in an open and democratic vote by flight attendants,” said Moist. “Instead of making bogus complaints, Air Canada should recognize the frustration of its flight attendants, come back to the bargaining table, and negotiate a deal that acknowledges the sacrifices its workers have made for the airline over the past decade.”
The Canada Industrial Relations Board has indicated to CUPE that the Air Canada complaint will be considered in conjunction with Labour Minister Lisa Raitt’s referral to the CIRB delaying the legal strike of flight attendants.
CUPE has sent a letter to Air Canada asking them to return to the bargaining table. The airline has yet to respond.
“CUPE is prepared to bargain and participate in the CIRB process in good faith. But this move by Air Canada is a provocation, precisely at the time when we should be looking for solutions,” said Moist. “This airline has not been able to conclude any negotiations with any of its unions without the threat of government intervention. Hand in hand, Air Canada and the federal government are trampling the rights of workers and pushing the parties apart.”
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