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Air Canada Pilots: No Work Stoppage During Holiday Season

19 December 2011

TORONTO - Air Canada pilots say there’s no risk of any work stoppage over the Holiday Season, despite their ongoing issues with the airline.

“We want to assure our passengers that Air Canada pilots will continue to fly them safely to their destinations through the Holiday season,” said Captain Paul Strachan, President of the Air Canada Pilots Association.

“Air Canada pilots don’t want a strike. We want to negotiate a new agreement,” Captain Strachan said. “There is no reason for Air Canada or our pilots to take any precipitous action, as long as both parties negotiate in good faith.”

Negotiations between the airline and its pilots resumed November 23rd and are proceeding with the assistance of a federal conciliation officer. Air Canada filed a notice of dispute with the federal government in late October, triggering the appointment of the conciliator. Under federal legislation, talks can continue for 60 days or longer, with the agreement of the airline and its pilots.

“Air Canada pilots have waited more than a decade for the opportunity to freely negotiate a new collective agreement. We don’t mind if it takes a few more weeks,” Captain Strachan said.

The last contract negotiated freely between the pilots and Air Canada was reached in the year 2000.

The pilots are currently working under a contract which expired at the end of March. Under that 2009 agreement, pilots agreed to freeze their wages and benefits for two years and grant their airline hundreds of millions of dollars in relief from its pension funding obligations because of the financial difficulties Air Canada faced at that time.

The 2009 agreement was not the first time that Air Canada pilots helped rescue their airline. In 2004, when Air Canada emerged from bankruptcy protection, the pilots took wage cuts of 15 – 30 per cent to keep the airline flying.

Air Canada pilots currently earn less than they did a decade ago.

“Throughout Air Canada’s troubles, our pilots have maintained our professionalism and demonstrated great patience,” Captain Strachan said. “We look forward to achieving a collective agreement that recognizes our pilots’ contributions to Air Canada and their essential role in building a healthy, viable future for our airline.”

The Air Canada Pilots Associationis the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada’s mainline fleet.


Contact: Paul Howard, Director of Communications 905-678-9008 ext. 222 phoward@acpa.ca

Submitted by ACPA on December 19, 2011


Standing by for the press release from the Harper Government of Canada .... There will be no work stoppage at Air Canada EVER (by any employee group). Not sure what ACPA's point is with this, do they really think they will be "allowed" to go on strike at anytime, do they really think the travelling public doesn't know this already ?

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I think it is a great PR release.......they calm any fears the uninformed public may have had about flying on AC during the Christmas season ...they get their point accross about their desire to get a good contract.

Do you really think the public gives a rats rear if they were "in position" to strike or not? As well, even if they were in a position to strike, and the govt came in and said "no-no", again the uninformed public would just have one thing more to worry about and perhaps 'side-step' flying on AC.

Nothing wrong with the release at all.

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I suppose there is room for different points of view here. I must confess that when I read this announcement the first thing that popped into my mind was the old John Cleese TV skit about the bored airline pilots who, in order to create excitement, announced to the passengers that "there is no cause for alarm!"

In this country the airline community, and pilots in particular, are not famous for endearing themselves to the public. I am not sure whether this helps of hurts their cause.

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I think the name of this forum says it all.....Airline Employee Forum.... it is time to look at the industry from outside this box....try to be a "civilian" for a bit and just read the release as it stands.

I can't understand why there seems to be remarks bordering on being snide concerning a simple press release.

The remarks about negotiations are pleasant and civil and perhaps, just perhaps, the public will finally understand that the guys/gals in the pointy end are just working stiffs doing the best they can in an industry that is probably one of the most volatile in the travel field.

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