Air Canada’s labour situation remains up in the air

Fire, fog and other challenges combined to make it a difficult weekend for the air carrier

Monday seemed like it would fly by for Air Canada—until protesters from a maintenance contractor blocked the entrance to Air Canada’s head office. Most of the company’s flights took off without problems Monday morning after numerous flights were cancelled over the March-break return weekend for reasons of fog, fire or cold, or the illness that afflicted many of its pilots at once.

On Sunday, fog and a fire further delayed Air Canada’s flights all over the country, in addition to an unusually high number of pilots calling in sick. The company has asked the government to step in again, and is seeking a ruling from the Canada Industrial Relations Board against the Air Canada Pilots Association for the move, which took place just a couple of days after Parliament introduced back-to-work legislation to prevent a work stoppage at Air Canada.

On Monday morning, 200 protesters blocked the entrance to Air Canada’s headquarters in Montreal, after learning that Aveos, a maintenance contractor to Air Canada, had locked out at least 2,400 of its employees in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Aveos was an internal repair division of Air Canada until 2007, when the air carrier converted the operation into a separate company.




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