Ottawa has named the arbitrators tasked with ending Air Canada's labour dispute with two of its largest unions, and in both cases, the chosen candidate has been suggested by both sides.
Labour Minister Lisa Raitt named Michel Picher to arbitrate the dispute between the airline and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the union that represents 8,600 of the airline's machinists and baggage handlers.
A separate release from the Department of Labour also named Douglas Stanley as the arbitrator in the dispute between the airline and its 3,000-member pilots union, the Air Canada Pilots Association or ACPA.
"Picher will bring focus to this process and that his experience will be invaluable in settling the outstanding matters," Raitt said of the first appointment. "I urge the parties to extend him their full cooperation."
On Stanley's naming, Raitt said she "urges the parties to work together and extend their full cooperation to [him]."
In both cases, the ministry release noted that the candidate was suggested by both the airline and the corresponding union.
Both unions have been without a collective bargaining agreement since earlier this year, but the possibility of a job action by either union was made impossible when lawmakers moved to pass back-to-work legislation in March.
Both men are very well versed with labour relations issues and will be tasked with rendering a decision on the final offers presented by both parties.
Stanley has been practicing law since 1974 and was also a law professor at the University of New Brunswick. He also served both New Brunswick's Deputy Minister of Labour and CEO of WorkSafe New Brunswick.
Picher's career includes serving as the vice-chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and teaching law at the University of Ottawa.