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Not again! Air Canada workers vow to strike over March break


 

Air Canada’s largest union has announced workers will begin to strike next Monday—the first day of March break—Postmedia news reported on Wednesday. Two thirds of the members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers had voted down a contract deal with the airline on Feb. 23.

According to the CBC, if the strike goes ahead, flights would be grounded, leaving thousands of passengers stranded on one of the year’s busiest holidays:

In a brief statement posted on the IAMAW Local 2323 website, the union says: “We are the largest unionized workforce at Air Canada, without us, it’s all grounded.”

The CBC goes on to explain the reasons for both sides’ grievances:

Many Air Canada workers are trying to win back pay and concessions they gave up to help the airline restructure under bankruptcy protection in 2003 and 2004. In its financial report issued last month, Air Canada said it lost $60 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $249 million for the year. Pension reform, wages, scheduling night shifts, mandatory overtime and the role of part-time staff are among the key issues.

Airline executives say there is still enough time to come to an agreement with workers before the strike begins.

Last October, an attempt to strike by Air Canada flight attendants was cut short when Labour Minister Lisa Raitt intervened. The controversial move was seen as an affront to workers’ right to strike.

 


 
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Not again! Air Canada workers vow to strike over March break

  1. They need to tread carefully here. It seems from the report here that the company is rapidly becoming a stone they’re trying to draw blood from. If they’re hoping the gov’t will step in to prop up the company as it has so many times before, they need to consider that the CPC is back on its heels right now and a “red meat for the base” issue like “sticking it to a greedy union who’s trying to hurt people’s Spring Break” will probably look appealing.

    They could find themselves following in Caterpillar’s footsteps, or worse, setting back the labour movement a significant amount by providing the impetus for new laws limiting union power in general.

  2. The CEOs and people up top need to stop with the multi-million dollar bonuses and get back to making their employees happy. AC employees get screwed left and right by the company.

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