Air Canada’s (TSX:AC.B) mechanics and technical staff could be asked to vote again on a proposed labour contract after a membership vote narrowly rejected a tentative agreement that would freeze their wages until March 31, 2011. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers says it could hold another membership vote to get the deal approved, or it could meet with Air Canada to see if the tentative agreement can be tweaked.
Spokesman Bill Trbovich says the union’s leadership is meeting today and wants to meet with Air Canada on Friday. He says the Vancouver 2010 Olympics will not be used as a bargaining chip, as reported by a Toronto newspaper. The rejection of the tentative deal threatens to delay Air Canada’s efforts to gain federal approval to defer most of its pension payments for 21 months. The Machinists union represents about 10,000 mechanics, electricians, baggage handlers and cargo agents at Air Canada.