Air Canada Pilots to Vote on Corporation’s Offer

TORONTO – Air Canada pilots will vote on the latest offer from their employer, with their Association recommending that the pilots reject the offer and send a message to their employer to get serious about negotiations.

“The Corporation pulled a dramatic u-turn yesterday on the first day of our return to bargaining,” said Captain Paul Strachan, President of the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA). “After committing to a federal mediation process that was to last up to 180 days, the corporation instead chose to table what it termed its “final” offer only 23 days into the process, without any serious effort to bridge our differences by negotiating in good faith.

“We think Air Canada pilots should be given the opportunity to tell the corporation directly what they think of its offer and its actions in this round of bargaining.”

The vote is not the result of a tentative agreement. There is no agreement. The Association is recommending that the pilots reject the offer.

“This offer continues the corporation’s pattern of behavior over the last decade and demands even more concessions from our pilots,” Captain Strachan said. “It’s ridiculous that the corporation continues to focus on squeezing a group of professionals whose compensation represents only about four per cent of revenue. Having provided ongoing concessions amounting to several billion dollars over the last nine years, it’s high time that Air Canada recognized the value created by its experienced professional pilots who fly thousands of passengers safely and efficiently to their destinations every day.”

Last month, the pilots signaled their displeasure with the corporation’s actions by voting 97 per cent in favour of a strike; however, the pilots’ have not called for any form of industrial action and have consistently maintained the same goal - a negotiated settlement.

Air Canada pilots are continuing to fly under an expired 2009 agreement that froze their pay rates for more than two years. That agreement also provided the corporation with hundreds of millions of dollars in relief from its pension funding obligations.

In contrast, Air Canada last year boosted compensation for its top five executives by 30 per cent. On March 31 of this year, Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu will collect a $5 million retention bonus for remaining in his position for three years.

“Air Canada pilots have continued to demonstrate their professionalism and commitment to our passengers despite the challenges our airline has faced,” Captain Strachan said. “We have also made more sacrifices than any other employees to keep Air Canada flying and are the only employee group being asked to do so again.”

In Air Canada’s financial restructuring of 2003-2004, the pilots accepted pay cuts of 15 – 30 per cent and granted other concessions to keep the airline viable. Since that time, they have been unable to freely bargain a new contract and their pay rates are currently lower than they were a decade ago.

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

Paul Howard
Director of Communications
Air Canada Pilots Association
905-678-9008 ext. 4401

Published on:Publié :
Mar 08, 201208 Mar 2012

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