Air Canada reaches tentative deal with 7,500 union members

Air Canada says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with the union representing its technical maintenance, airport ramp and cargo personnel.

Deal awaits ratification by International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Air Canada says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with the union representing its technical maintenance, airport ramp and cargo personnel. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Air Canada says it has reached a tentative contract agreement with the union representing its technical maintenance, airport ramp and cargo personnel.

That airline says the 10-year agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers covers 7,500 employees.

The agreement is subject to ratification by the union's membership as well as to certain openers over the 10-year period.

Details will not be released pending ratification by the union members and approval by the Air Canada board of directors.

Air Canada says the union will recommend ratification to its members and the company will seek the board of directors' approval for the agreement promptly.

This is the sixth agreement reached with unions representing various Air Canada employees, and the third for a 10-year period.

"This new agreement with the IAMAW on collective agreement terms for 10 years is an important achievement that will support long-term and profitable growth at Air Canada and one that recognizes the important contribution of IAMAW members," Calin Rovinescu, president and chief executive of Air Canada said in a statement.

"Moreover, it will benefit all stakeholders by giving our company more certainty and flexibility, while at the same time providing stability for our employees."

Deal would improve job security

The union issued a statement saying the tentative deal will provide job security to mechanics and airport workers.

"This is the first time in over a decade we have been able to bargaining freely without the threat of bankruptcy or government interference hanging over us," union spokesman Fred Hospes said in the statement.

The previous round of labour talks at Air Canada were among the most acrimonious in the airline's history. They included a 12-hour illegal walkout by baggage handlers and ground staff that disrupted flights. The federal government had to either intervene, or threaten to do so, on more than one occasion.

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