THUNDER BAY – By Thursday, Air Canada flight schedules could be disrupted. Unionized workers have turned down a contract offer that the union and management came to agreement on September 20, 2011. The flight attendants voted down the proposed contract and CUPE has now issued a strike notice to Air Canada which comes into effect at 00:01AM EDT on Thursday the 13th of October.
“We are perplexed and disappointed that two tentative agreements negotiated in good faith with and unanimously recommended by the democratically elected representatives of our flight attendants have failed to be ratified,” said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Air Canada remains hopeful that a disruption can be avoided.”
The President of the Air Canada Component of CUPE, Jeff Taylor, said, “These results show how frustrated the membership is with the company, after years and years of concessions. We ask the federal government, in the strongest possible terms, to respect our right to collective bargaining and not intervene unilaterally in this dispute”.
In recognition of the uncertainty for customers this situation may cause, Air Canada has introduced a flexible rebooking policy to enable customers booked for travel over the next six days on a rolling window basis (October 10-15, 11-16, etc.) to change dates free of charge until December 15, 2011, subject to seat availability.
Customers wishing to change Air Canada- and Air Canada Express-operated flights on tickets purchased directly through Air Canada are requested to use the airline’s on-line Self Service Rebooking Tool available at www.aircanada.com. Customers who booked travel through a travel agent must contact their agent directly. Customers can also contact the Air Canada call centre, however wait times are longer than usual due to increased call volumes.
In the event of a work disruption, Air Canada will implement a partial schedule including Air Canada Express flights operated by its regional partner airlines (Jazz Air, Sky Regional Airlines, Air Georgian and EVAS Air). Further details of the partial schedule would be communicated prior to implementation. Regularly scheduled Air Canada Express service between Toronto City Centre and Montreal Trudeau airport, as well as codeshare flights operated by Star Alliance partner airlines on international and U.S. transborder routes, would remain unaffected.
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