Further to our last bargaining update to you on November 16, 2021 (Click HERE to view), your Bargaining Committee met last month with Air Canada and Arbitrator Vince Ready for one more attempt at a mediated outcome. Unfortunately, the parties were not able to reach a final agreement and some items remain in dispute. As such we have instructed the Union’s legal counsel to begin their preparation for interest arbitration. Dates were previously secured in late March 2022 to continue with this process.
This arbitration will take place under the strict confines of the 10-year framework MOA which limits which types of proposals can move forward to arbitration. In addition, the arbitrator cannot issue an award that would increase the total cost to Air Canada Mainline or Air Canada Rouge, except for certain items at Air Canada Rouge which could result in cost increases.
We must let you know that the bargaining process throughout this reopener has been quite frustrating. As you are likely aware the confines of the previously bargained MOA (Click HERE to view) limit the items Air Canada is willing to engage on without a corresponding concession. We inherited this language and will use all available resources to our advantage however there is limited leverage for your Bargaining Committee to use. This may be further compounded by the impact COVID-19 has on the aviation industry.
We remain hopeful that the final outcome will address some of the abhorrent working conditions at Air Canada Rouge and will maintain the status quo at Air Canada Mainline with some no-cost improvements/changes. We must not forget that our ability to openly bargain is not that far off, and we must all begin to plan and imagine what can be achieved at that time. In the interim we will fight tooth and nail to make any gains that we can for the members despite the hindrances.