Union cancels Monday strike plan at Flair Airlines

The union that represents 139 flight attendants at Flair Airlines has called off a strike that would have been set to begin early Monday morning after the airline threatened repercussions for anyone who walked off the job.

Walkout was set to begin early Monday morning

Flair Airlines flies between a half dozen Canadian destinations. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

The union that represents 139 flight attendants at Flair Airlines has called off a strike that would have been set to begin early Monday morning after the airline threatened repercussions for anyone who walked off the job.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Edmonton-based airline have been negotiating a new contract for much of the past year, but the union announced the strike plan after mediated talks broke down on Wednesday.

The plan was for unionized employees to not report for work after midnight on Monday, but the union suddenly cancelled that plan over the weekend and will now fight the airline at the Canada Industrial Relations Board after the union says the airline was planning to take steps that "raised concerns for the job security," of its members, who make up more than half of the airline's 250-person workforce.

"The company has issued memos to employees advising them that anyone taking part in the job action would not be scheduled for further work," CUPE said. and that anyone coming to work and crossing a picket line would receive an additional $150/day as a strike-breaker bonus."

The company, for its part, rejects those insinuations, and says it is more than happy to continue to negotiate with CUPE for a long term agreement. "Any claims of unfair labour practices are false, and we are confident the Canadian Industrial Relations Board will agree," Iris Dias said.

"We are pleased at this overnight development and thank our flight attendants for their commitment to our organization and its success," Dias said, adding that there are currently no delays related to the job dispute, and all flights are operating normally.

Flair Airlines offers heavily discounted flights within Canada between seven locations in Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. The airline is planning to launch flights to the U.S. next year.