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Air Transat’s pilots call for a strike if negotiations fail

Air Transat’s (Montreal) pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), have voted for a strike if a collective agreement is not reached with their management. In a recent strike ballot issued by the union leadership to the pilot group, an overwhelming 97 percent of pilots voted in favor of a lawful strike, should it become necessary to conclude a fair collective agreement with Air Transat management. The pilots have been in negotiations since January of this year.

On June 25, Canada’s Minister of Labour, Lisa Raitt, appointed Ms. Maureen Flynn to serve as conciliation commissioner. The conciliation time line establishes a series of hard deadlines for negotiators, including a 60-day conciliation period that will expire on September 10, 2010, unless the parties agree to extend the process. Under the Canada Labour Code, both the strike authorization vote and written notification to the company are required steps before any withdrawal of services can begin. At the end of conciliation, a mandatory 21-day waiting period will go into effect, which concludes at midnight on October 1, at which time Air Transat pilots will be in a legal position to strike.

After more than six months of bargaining, substantial issues remain open, particularly in the areas of job outsourcing, pilot fatigue mitigation, and compensation.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum. Airbus A330-243 C-GITS (msn 271) taxies to runway 9L at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood.

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