Wed, Aug 31, 2011
Labor Action Could Come To A Vote Next Month
Canada Flight Attendants have rejected a tentative agreement
reached with Air Canada. After ten days of voting, 87.8 per cent of
CUPE members of the union’s Air Canada Component voted
against the tentative agreement.
“The results send a strong message to the company,”
said Jeff Taylor, President of the Air Canada Component of CUPE.
“As a Bargaining Committee, we have heard our members loud
and clear. We negotiated the best deal we felt we could in the
current political context. But it wasn't enough and we will take
that message back to the employer in the strongest possible
Turnout in the vote was very high, with 78.6 per cent of the
members casting their vote.
“We understand our members’ demand and desire for a
better deal and for the respect they deserve. After a decade of
concessions, the membership has clearly said it wants a fair deal,
especially since the company is in a much better financial
position,” said Taylor.
The union’s executive will meet with members over the coming
days at local union meetings in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and
Vancouver and will proceed immediately to a strike vote which will
take place between September 4 and September 13.
Taylor said the union will meet with the employer at the earliest
opportunity to resume negotiations.
The Canadian News Service reports that this is just the latest
in a series of labor setbacks for Air Canada this year. Its pilots
voted down a tentative agreement earlier this year, and its
customer service agents walked off the job for three days in May.
That labor action ended when the Canadian government said it would
introduce legislation to force the strikers back to work.
In a statement on its website, Air Canada said operations would
not be affected.
"Air Canada has been advised by the Canadian Union of Public
Employees that the tentative agreement reached by the Company and
the CUPE Negotiating Committee on August 1, 2011 was not ratified
by the union membership," the statement reads.
"Air Canada confirms it is business as usual for the airline and
that customers can continue to book Air Canada flights with
"CUPE represents approximately 6,800 flight attendants and its
collective agreement expired on March 31, 2011."
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