MONTREAL, March 7, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada has been advised by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), representing the airline's approximately 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents in Canada, that it intends to begin labour action starting at 12:01 A.M. ET on Monday March 12, 2012.
"We recognize that the IAMAW's notice of strike action in the midst of the peak March Break travel period will cause uncertainty for thousands of our customers. The lines of communication remain open and we are hopeful that there remains sufficient time to avoid a work disruption," said Duncan Dee, Air Canada's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "We regret the uncertainty for our customers and we thank them for their patience and understanding. This threatened job action follows the disappointing rejection of the unanimously recommended tentative agreement signed by the IAMAW bargaining committee following the federal mediation before the Honourable Madam Justice Louise Otis. "
Should a settlement not be reached and the IAMAW commences job action, the airline will endeavour to minimize inconvenience to its customers.
In the meantime, Air Canada continues to operate its normal schedule without disruption.
However, due to the expected high volume of calls at our call centres, wait times will be long. To avoid waiting, Air Canada strongly recommends customers consult its website, aircanada.com, which will continue to be updated with the latest information for customers. In addition, aircanada.com offers self-service tools that can be used for making bookings, checking-in for flights and rebooking flights in case a flight is delayed or cancelled for reasons such as bad weather.
The airline will provide further updates as developments warrant.
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline serving more than 180 destinations on five continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 15th largest commercial airline in the world and in 2011 served more than 33 million customers. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 60 Canadian cities, 57 destinations in the United States and 63 cities in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network serving 1,290 destinations in 189 countries. In 2011, Air Canada was ranked Best International Airline in North America in a worldwide survey of more than 18 million airline passengers conducted by independent research firm Skytrax.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Air Canada's public communications may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions and are subject to important risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements cannot be relied upon due to, amongst other things, changing external events and general uncertainties of the business. Actual results may differ materially from results indicated in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including without limitation, industry, market, credit and economic conditions, the ability to reduce operating costs and secure financing, pension issues, energy prices, employee and labour relations, currency exchange and interest rates, competition, war, terrorist acts, epidemic diseases, environmental factors (including weather systems and other natural phenomena and factors arising from man-made sources), insurance issues and costs, changes in demand due to the seasonal nature of the business, supply issues, changes in laws, regulatory developments or proceedings, pending and future litigation and actions by third parties as well as the factors identified throughout Air Canada's public disclosure file available at www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statements contained in this news release represent Air Canada's expectations as of date of this news release and are subject to change after such date. However, Air Canada disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities regulations.
For further information:
Isabelle Arthur (Montréal) 514 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto) 416 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver) 604 270-5741