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article imageCountdown To Air Canada Strike, Union Ad Seeks Public Support

By Steffan Ileman     Sep 17, 2011 in Travel
Air Canada flight attendants served a strike notice on the airline yesterday. The union took out a newspaper ad to seek public support. Westjet announced Sunday it will be adding new flights to accommodate passengers affected by the strike.
Air Canada flight attendants served strike notice on the airline yesterday after negotiations to reach a deal failed in spite of pressure by Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt. One of the issues in dispute is a new discount airline Air Canada is planning to put into operation. The airline wants flight attendants to work at lower wages than the current levels in order to keep operational costs of the new airline consistent with discount fares.
The Union, CUPE's Air Canada Component, has taken out an advertisement in the Toronto Star to solicit public support. Union President Jeff Taylor says they don't want to strike, but they want a fair deal.
The Union feels that the federal government is unfairly interfering in the collective bargaining process by making the dispute about Canada's economy.
The strike could come as early as Tuesday night and would pose a somewhat bigger challenge to management than the strike last June when Air Canada's sales and customer agents walked out. At that time management staff filled vacant positions and kept most flights operating. It's doubtful if management staff can replace flight attendants without the required inflight training.
It is reported that the public is losing confidence in Air Canada as the second strike in the year looms.
Westjet announced Sunday that it will add additional flights on September 21st if the strike goes ahead. Click here to read Westjet's press release.
Calgary-based Westjet is Canada's second largest carrier after Air Canada, offering charter and scheduled services. Westjet's employees are non-unionised and deemed to be part owners of the company.
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Courtesy CUPE Air Canada Component
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