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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 8:49 PM 

"End of strike threat": Air Transat crew agree to new deal, are now highest paid in industry

  • Air
  •   02-26-2024  8:57 pm
  •   Pax Global Media

"End of strike threat": Air Transat crew agree to new deal, are now highest paid in industry
(Air Transat)
Pax Global Media

Air Transat has announced that 62.7 per cent of its flight attendants have voted in favour of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service mediators' recommendation.

This ratifies a new collective agreement, effectively lifting the threat of a strike, "putting an end to the uncertainty for travellers," according to a news release on Monday (Feb. 26).

The collective agreement is retroactive to Nov. 1, 2022, and will be valid until Oct. 31, 2027.

"Our flight attendants play a key role in Air Transat's success, and following an unprecedented process, we are pleased to offer competitive working conditions. This outcome will enable us to continue the dialogue of the past few months and move forward. We are also grateful for the patience and trust of our customers during these uncertain times," says Julie Lamontagne, chief people, communications and sustainability officer of Transat, in a statement. 

The airline celebrated the news with a passenger to customers on the social media platform X. 

"There is no longer any risk of a strike. We wish you an excellent trip on our wings!" wrote Air Transat. 

The collective agreement for the flight attendants, based at airports in Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ), expired on Oct. 31, 2022. Negotiations began on April 17, 2023.

A first tentative agreement between the parties was reached on Dec. 14. After general meetings, the flight attendants voted 98.1 per cent to reject it, with 87 per cent of members participating.

On Jan. 7, a second tentative agreement was reached, also turned down by members on Feb 1 by a vote of 81.9 per cent.

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.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says the collective agreement, which is retroactive to Nov. 1, 2022, makes Air Transat flight attendants the highest paid in the industry.

The terms include total compound salary increases of 30 per cent over five years, the elimination of the two lowest salary tiers and other benefits such as more vacation days.

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