TORONTO, May 20, 2011 /CNW/ - CAW members at Air Canada have voted 98.25
per cent in favour of going on strike if necessary, strengthening
demands at the bargaining table for a fair and equitable new collective
agreement. Votes were cast by more than 80 per cent of the total
membership. The strike deadline is set for Monday, June 13 at 11:59
"With this strong strike vote, our members have clearly demonstrated
that they've had enough of being taken for granted by Air Canada," said
CAW President Ken Lewenza. "What we're looking for at the bargaining
table is a fair and equitable settlement, not the many concessions and
the destruction of our pension plan like Air Canada is demanding. This
company cannot lecture workers about their role in making the airline
more efficient while dolling out major bonuses to corporate executives,
including extremely rich retirement packages."
The strike votes were held in a series of meetings right across the
country from May 13-19, with results tallied this morning.
Lewenza said that the desire is not to cause interruptions for the
travelling public, but negotiations require flexibility from both
parties and so far this has not been the case, with Air Canada showing
little will to arrive at a new agreement.
"I believe this company has underestimated the growing frustration of
our members as they've worked hard to deliver major productivity
improvements over the last ten years while seeing their wages stagnate
and co-workers pushed out the door," said Jamie Ross, president of CAW
Local 2002, representing Air Canada workers. "Air Canada can well
afford to compensate its workers fairly and continue the pension plan."
Negotiations with Air Canada resume in Toronto on Tuesday, May 24 with a
federally appointed mediator.
The union has also been organizing targeted demonstrations in major
airport terminals, drawing hundreds of Air Canada workers and
supporters. Rallies have so far been held in the Montreal Trudeau
Airport on April 21, the Calgary International Airport on April 28, the
Air Canada shareholders meeting in Montreal on May 5, with other
rallies to come.
CAW Local 2002 represents 3,800 members at Air Canada, who work in
customer service and sales in major airports and call centres. The
collective agreement expired on February 28.
SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers
For further information:
Jamie Ross (cell) 604-314-3979, CAW Communications Shannon Devine (cell) 416-302-1699, CAW Local 2002 Communications Darryl Bink (cell) 647-802- 8613 or Delia Gaskill (cell) 416-802-3090