Arbitrator sides with Air Canada

A long-standing labour dispute between Air Canada and its unionized repair and ramp crews came to an end Sunday when a federal arbitrator sided with the country’s largest carrier and selected its final offer to establish a collective agreement.

MONTREAL — A long-standing labour dispute between Air Canada and its unionized repair and ramp crews came to an end Sunday when a federal arbitrator sided with the country’s largest carrier and selected its final offer to establish a collective agreement.

The new five-year deal marks an end to 14 months of negotiations and mediated talks between the Montreal-based airline (TSX:AC.A) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

It also means there is only one of the airline’s major unions that is still without a collective agreement. The airline’s 3,000 pilots are still in the process of working through their dispute with a federal arbitrator.

The threat of a lockout of pilots, and a strike notice from the Machinists, had prompted the federal government to intervene with back-to-work legislation in both disputes. The law allowed federally appointed arbitrators to impose settlements within 90 days.

Air Canada has been engaged in an often bitter labour dispute with most of its unionized employees in recent months.

The resolution of outstanding labour contracts is being seen as significant as it could decide Air Canada’s ability to launch a low-cost carrier — currently a top priority at the airline.

The deal imposed by arbitrator Michel Picher on Sunday maintains the current defined benefit pension plan for current employees but includes pension changes for any new hires.

It also contributes to the reduction of the pension deficit and establishes a protocol for the sustainability of the pension plan, taking into account any short term funding pressures on the company, a statement from the airline said.

“The arbitrator’s selection of Air Canada’s final offer concludes a new collective agreement with the IAMAW,” the airline said.

“The airline will not have further comment as details of the new collective agreement are being communicated to its employees.”

The IAMAW represents 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents employed by Air Canada.

It was not immediately available for comment on the ruling.

Just Posted

Trudeau attends Commonwealth meeting looking for less plastic, more LGBTQ rights

LONDON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will add his voice today to… Continue reading

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, the debate hasn’t quit

Capt. Roy Brown had ordered the young airman not to engage the… Continue reading

Rocky school searched by police

A reported male with a firearm wasn’t found

Mall plotters believed they were reincarnations of Columbine shooters: report

HALIFAX — They weren’t just inspired by the Columbine shooters — two… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s newest public art unveiled

Red Deer’s latest “ghost” sculpture is a love letter to the game… Continue reading

Howard commencement to feature “Black Panther” Boseman

WASHINGTON — The “Black Panther” is returning to his alma mater to… Continue reading

Armed police will patrol rail stations at royal wedding

LONDON — British officials say armed and undercover police officers will patrol… Continue reading

Power largely restored across Puerto Rico after blackout

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s power company said Thursday that… Continue reading

Dashing to make a flight? Order food to your gate through a delivery app

TORONTO — P.J. Mastracchio is used to dashing through airports only to… Continue reading

Alabama mayor: ‘Poop train’ finally empty; sludge gone

ATLANTA — The last train car full of New York City sewage… Continue reading

Mom to be charged in slaying of girl, 2, in Quebec City neighbourhood

QUEBEC — A Quebec City mother has been arrested in the slaying… Continue reading

Did a Canadian shoot down the Red Baron? A century later, the debate hasn’t quit

Capt. Roy Brown had ordered the young airman not to engage the… Continue reading

Mall plotters believed they were reincarnations of Columbine shooters: report

HALIFAX — They weren’t just inspired by the Columbine shooters — two… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month