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Canadian North And First Air Union Leaders Respond To Merger Announcement

Pilot Groups Will Form Separate Merger Committees And A Joint Negotiating Committee

On behalf of the pilots of Canadian North and First Air, union leaders from the two airlines issued a statement regarding an announcement made by Canadian North’s parent company, Inuvialuit Corporate Group, late on Friday, July 6, to merge with Makivik Corporation’s arctic air carrier First Air. The pilots of both northern Canadian airlines are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA).  

“The merger announcement is a positive step for both pilot groups. The Canadian aviation industry is small, and a more efficient, stronger airline will be better suited to withstand the current economic pressures our two airlines have been facing. We look forward to the prosperity and benefits this new company could bring for our crewmembers and to working with our counterparts at First Air,” said Capt. Bill Rodgers, chairman of ALPA’s Canadian North Master Executive Council (MEC)," the statement said.

“This is an exciting announcement that we hope will ensure long-term stability and growth for the combined new airline. Our pilot groups are very similar in size and have operated in the same challenging environment for years. It’s a practical business decision for this merger to take place, and I am optimistic this will have a positive end result for our pilots in the long term. The leaders of both pilot groups have already begun laying a solid foundation for a mutually beneficial working relationship to merge our two pilot groups together,” said First Officer Charlene Hudy, First Air MEC chairman."

Both pilot groups will create separate Merger Committees and will form a Joint Negotiating Committee that will assist both groups as they negotiate a transition and process agreement (TPA) with the new Canadian North management team. The TPA defines the process for bargaining a joint collective agreement.

(Source: ALPA news release)

FMI: www.alpa.org

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