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Tuesday,  June 18, 2024 8:17 PM 

Air Canada pilots hold picket in T.O. as contract discussions stall

  • Air
  •   05-28-2024  8:51 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Air Canada pilots hold picket in T.O. as contract discussions stall
F/O Charlene Hudy, Air Canada ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC) chair, photographed at a picket event in Montreal in October 2023. (X/@AirCanadaPilots)
Pax Global Media

Air Canada pilots held an informational picket in downtown Toronto on Tuesday (May 28) as contract discussions with the airline’s management stall.

According to a press release issued by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents the group, the picketing event demonstrates Air Canada pilots’ “resolve and solidarity in achieving an agreement that recognizes the pilots’ contributions and value to the airline and their passengers.”

“This week marks more than 240 days since our stale and outdated contract expired,” said F/O Charlene Hudy, Air Canada ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC) chair, in the release (and at the event). “Air Canada has the opportunity to recognize our value by making important improvements to our contract, which must include closing the significant wage gap between the United States and Canada. If they fail to do so, we all will lose, and Air Canada will no longer attract and retain the pilots they require.”

Some agreements, but issues remain

In January, ALPA and Air Canada entered into a mediation protocol agreement with a professional mediator to facilitate negotiations. This is the final week of negotiations scheduled under the protocol agreement.

Since entering mediation, the two parties have been successful in reaching “some agreements,” says the ALPA, but “numerous items remain outstanding.”

With only days left in mediation, the pilots are sending a “unified message to management that it’s time to deliver a world-class contract they have earned,” the ALPA says.

“We’ve heard Air Canada’s ambitious growth plans during their recent quarterly financial updates. Ambitious airline growth plans require a strong and engaged pilot group, because without pilots who are valued, there is no growth plan,” said Hudy.

The update comes as airline pilots demand higher wages and better treatment amid industry challenges. 

Last year, The WestJet Group, after round-the-clock negotiations with the ALPA, averted a strike at the last minute, reaching a deal with its pilots that will see a 24 per cent pay bump over four years. 


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