TORONTO, May 3, 2012 /CNW/ - A group of key employees at Jazz Aviation has applied to the federal labour department for conciliation after a lack of progress in contract negotiations.
The Jazz staff are airline dispatchers, who issue and monitor flight plans and authorize the release of aircraft to fly. Without the 66 Halifax-based employees, Jazz would be unable to operate its roughly 800 flights a day throughout Canada and the US.
"The company was completely unresponsive to our proposals," said Allan Shiell, chair of Local 2 of the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA), after the April 25th meeting in Halifax where Jazz is headquartered, ended prematurely. "We believe the only way forward at this time was to apply for conciliation."
Shiell said he hopes new talks on May 15-17 will show more progress. "I'm hoping the conciliator can bring us closer together," he said.
If not, Shiell said the next step would be to go to the members for a strike mandate.
Chief issue in the negotiations is compensation, with Jazz dispatchers earning significantly less than many of their counterparts at other major Canadian airlines.
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