June 9, 2009

Air Canada And Three Unions Reach Deal

A tentative deal between Air Canada and three unions was struck on pension and collective agreement issues, airline officials in Montreal said.

The Monday night meeting resulted in the unions agreeing to a 21-month moratorium on the airline paying past service pension contributions and a union agreement to an extension of its collective agreement during the same period, the Financial Post reported Tuesday.

The deal, which requires federal approval, involves about 16,500 workers in the Canadian Airlines Dispatchers Association, the Canadian Auto Workers and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the report said.

The carrier still has to negotiate with the Air Canada Pilots Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represent about 40 percent of its unionized employees, the Post said.

The unions are apparently responding to recent industry analysts' warnings the debt-laden airline could face bankruptcy protection in the face of weakening travel demand and tougher competition, the Globe and Mail reported.