Air Canada and CUPE Continue Negotiations as Strike Looms
Air Canada and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) continued negotiations throughout the weekend but have yet to come to a conclusion. As the strike deadline looms, both sides are expected to speak with the Labour Minister Lisa Raitt this afternoon.
Over the weekend, the CUPE, which represents 9,500 members in air transport, made its global offer on Saturday while Air Canada submitted a counter offer late Sunday. Both sides are hoping to settle negotiations before reaching the strike deadline.
“Flight attendants have been without a contract since March 31, 2011. Flight attendants will be in a legal strike position starting at one minute past midnight on Wednesday September 21, 2011, unless a deal is reached before then,” said an official statement from the CUPE.
Labour Minister Lisa Raitt will meet with both the CUPE and Air Canada at 4 pm today in an effort to avoid the looming strike. “I remind the parties that the best solution in any dispute is one that the parties reach themselves. I urge the parties to reach a negotiated agreement as soon as possible,” said an official statement from Raitt on Friday.
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During this trying time Air Canada has revised its ticket policy to allow customers who’d like to make flight changes to be able to do so free of charge. Customers affected by the situation are encouraged to use the online Self Service Rebooking Tool available on aircanada.com or call Air Canada customer service.
Additionally, the CUPE has announced that Air Canada flight attendants will be “creating a wave east to west” tomorrow afternoon. Meeting at seven different locations across Canada at 10 am local time, flight attendants will be rallying in solidarity carrying purple banners, flags and ribbons. Locations include: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.