Unable to reach negotiation by the 11:59 deadline last night, the employees at Air Canada represented by the CAW are out on strike. The CAW claims the strike is a direct result of Air Canda’s refusal to remove major concessionary demands on the existing pension plan.
"We're extremely disappointed that 10 weeks of tough negotiations has not resulted in a new agreement that we can take back to our membership," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "This strike is unfortunate -not only for our members, but also for Air Canada passengers who may be inconvenienced."
Air Canada is claiming that it will continue to operate its full schedule despite the strike. For customers, the labour disruption will cause longer wait times when checking in for flights.
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"We are very disappointed that an agreement for a new contract has not been reached prior to the CAW's strike deadline and we remain ready to resume discussions at any time to achieve a negotiated settlement. In the interim, we have implemented a contingency plan involving more than 1,700 managers to assist at airports and call centres. We will continue to operate our full schedule and all bookings will be honored," said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in an official statement. "We regret the inconvenience this situation may cause passengers and we advise those traveling with Air Canada in the coming days to consult our website and use our online self-service tools to check-in and get flight information they need prior to arriving at the airport. We thank our customers for their patience and understanding."