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Air Canada pilots protest at Toronto Airport over better pay

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Air Canada pilots staged a protest at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YTO) on September 29, 2023 as negotiations with the Canadian flag carrier continue on.

The Canada Air Line Pilots Association started the negotiations in June 2023, just one day after WestJet coworkers approved a new collective agreement.

The union for Air Canada, which represents more than 5,000 pilots, is calling for increased job security, safety, and pay.

The better pay and benefits that US pilots receive are another point of emphasis for Canadian pilots.

“There was a point in time back in 2013 when we were pretty comparable — almost even — with our fellow counterparts at United. But starting next year, United Airlines pilots will earn 92% more,” head of Air Canada’s contingent Charlene Hudy told Canadian media outlet Toronto Sun.

Pilots for US airlines like United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines were able to secure contracts that included pay increases of between 34% and 40% over the course of four years.

The Canada Air Line Pilots Association said that the picket is intended to “showcase our unity and resolve, as well as our loyalty to our fellow Canadians, who deserve no less than a reliable aviation network with experienced pilots in the flight deck”.

According to Reuters, since 2014, the pay of Air Canada’s pilots has increased by 2% annually. The nation’s inflation rate in March was 4.3%, a 19-month low.

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