Workers’ Rights under Attack at Air Canada

“The rights and wages of our members at Air Canada are being attacked,” declared Canada GVP Dave Ritchie in response to an effort by Canada’s government to impose ‘Final Offer Selection’ arbitration on bargaining between the union and the airline.

“It’s a sad day for any federally-regulated worker in Canada because this legislation says you do not have the right to strike, period,” said Ritchie. “This will undermine free collective bargaining and poison labor relations across Canada.”

Ritchie says the deck is stacked in Air Canada’s favour and the hands of the arbitrator are tied. “Final Offer Selection does not allow the arbitrator to take into consideration any one item for which it would make sense to change on either side’s behalf,” he said. “She could have accomplished her objectives through the introduction of compulsory arbitration which gives the arbitrator the latitude to forge a balanced agreement.”

“This will cause real harm to our members. This government is decreasing real wages and the rights of our members and I fear this is only the beginning,” added Ritchie.

The IAM is the largest union at Air Canada representing more than 8,600 line maintenance mechanics, auto mechanics, millwrights, electricians, inspectors, technical writers, planners, instructors, baggage and cargo handlers, aircraft cleaners, cabin groomers and weight and balance agents