Air Transat’s flight attendants have rejected a new tentative labour deal, restoring fears of a possible strike.
Roughly 82 per cent of the votes cast were against the new agreement, rejecting Air Transat's offer for the second time, said union CUPE in a press release on Thursday (Feb. 1).
CUPE's Air Transat Component represents about 2,100 cabin crew members at the airline. The union said that 88.7 per cent of its members participated in the vote.
Sticking points in the talks include wages for hours worked on the ground before takeoff and after landing, as well as the question of onboard staffing.
Members also voted in favour of renewing a strike mandate that expired on Jan. 23.
The members voted 94.6 per cent in favour of a new mandate, which will remain in effect until April 1, 2024, CUPE says.
The parties are returning to the negotiating table “quickly” to resume discussions, said the union.
The previous collective agreement for Air Transat’s flight attendants, based at airports in Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ), expired on Oct. 31, 2022.
Negotiations began officially on April 27, 2023.
Last November, the flight attendants adopted a strike mandate by a nearly unanimous vote of 99.8 per cent – the highest tally in the history of CUPE's Air Transat Component.
But on Dec. 14, right before the holiday travel season ramped up, an initial tentative agreement was reached.
On Jan. 2, however, the union revealed that flight attendants had voted 98.1 per cent to reject it.