Air Canada Files Labour Complaint Against the CUPE
Air Canada announced on Thursday that it had filed an unfair labour practice complaint against the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) over the collective bargaining negotiations that have been occurring between the two since April 2011.
Air Canada says the CUPE’s actions in rejecting the tentative agreement with Air Canada reached on September 20th is proof of bad faith conduct during the bargaining process. Air Canada is seeking compensation for losses that have resulted from the CUPE’s actions.
What have the CUPE done wrong exactly, in Air Canada’s mind? Air Canada claims the CUPE was in bad faith when “presenting modified demands at the bargaining table which added costs to their initial proposal and which widened the issues in dispute rather than narrowing them; tabling demands that it portrayed to Air Canada as being sufficient to meet its membership's demands; representing to Air Canada that it knew what its membership's demands were in order to obtain successful ratification of a new collective agreement; and failing to deploy all necessary efforts, as represented to Air Canada, to obtain ratification of the last tentative agreement.”
The CUPE, which represents 6,800 Air Canada flight attendants, is appalled at any suggestion that it has been negotiating in bad faith.
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“This complaint is a complete red-herring. The suggestion the Air Canada Component of CUPE has been bargaining in bad faith is ludicrous,” said Paul Moist, national president of CUPE. “This is just another transparent attempt to stall the flight attendants legal strike until back-to-work legislation can be put in place.”
Moist explained that the tentative agreement was rejected by members in “an open and democratic vote.” Moist chastised Air Canada for its bogus complaints and asked the company to have empathy for the frustration of its flight attendants.
The CUPE has asked Air Canada, by letter, to return to the bargaining table.
“CUPE is prepared to bargain and participate in the CIRB process in good faith. But this move by Air Canada is a provocation, precisely at the time when we should be looking for solutions,” said Moist. “This airline has not been able to conclude any negotiations with any of its unions without the threat of government intervention. Hand in hand, Air Canada and the federal government are trampling the rights of workers and pushing the parties apart.”
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.