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Air Canada to negotiate deal with pilots shortly after WestJet action

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A new labor agreement will be negotiated between Air Canada and its pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA).

The Air Canada (ACA) MEC [Master Executive Council – ed. note] does not view the Air Canada standards as met, according to a statement posted to Twitter by Air Canada ALPA Pilots. Full negotiations will start this summer.

An internal memo from ALPA to union members, which Reuters obtained, stated that the organization was ready to “negotiate with the company if they wanted to provide us with a substantial proposal that would further the goals of our membership.”

A new labor agreement between Air Canada and the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) was approved in October 2014 and will be in effect until September 2024.

“I’m very pleased that Air Canada pilots have voted to support this new agreement, which will provide our members with stable and secure employment, improved career progression, fair compensation and the opportunity to gain a better share of our airline’s financial success,” said then-president of ACPA, Craig Blandford, in October 2014.

“It also provides Air Canada with a mechanism to gain labour stability with its pilots until September 2024 by achieving growth targets. If these targets are met, any disputes arising from negotiations in 2017, 2020 and 2023 will be resolved through a mediation/arbitration process,” read an announcement made by ACPA at the time.

The pilot union had set May 29, 2023, as the deadline for starting negotiations for a new labor deal with the Canadian airline, according to a recent Reuters story. Now, the contract’s expiration date is September 29, 2023.

WestJet Pilots stated that they backed “AirCanadaPilots in their bargaining goals” in a statement that was shared on Twitter on May 30, 2023.

Following a tentative agreement with the airline after eight months of negotiations, WestJet’s pilots, who are also represented by ALPA, recently halted labor unrest.

“We will continue to support and showcase our solidarity with our colleagues at WestJet. The Air Canada pilot group voted overwhelmingly in favor of joining the same union as WestJet (Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)), further solidifying the idea that we are stronger together,” read a statement by Charlene Hudy, Air Canada pilots MEC chair, on May 16, 2023.

Following a principled agreement in March 2023 and after Air Canada pilots gave their approval on May 1, 2023, ALPA and Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) joined on May 17, 2023.

Since May 2017, ALPA has been the representative for WestJet pilots.

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