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Air Canada labour talks hit turbulence

As Air Canada’s pilots’ union ponders its next step after an aborted ratification vote, the airline yesterday briefed flight attendants on plans for a low-cost carrier.

As Air Canada’s pilots’ union ponders its next step after an aborted ratification vote, the airline yesterday briefed flight attendants on plans for a low-cost carrier.

News emerged last week of the proposed discount airline that would compete in the leisure market with Air Transat, Sunwing and WestJet.

However, as union officials travelled across Canada to brief its 3,000 pilots on the agreement, it became clear the deal, which calls for substantially lower wages and new pension rules, wouldn’t fly.

During the same week, employees learned that Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu’s total compensation jumped nearly 77 per cent to $4.6 million last year.

The union executives hastily called off the ratification vote amid attempts within the rank-and-file to recall Bruce White, chair of the master executive council, over the tentative deal.

In addition to pilots and flight attendants, Air Canada is also bargaining with unions that represent machinists, customer-service agents and dispatchers.

If labour deals are not ratified within the next few weeks, the airline could face labour unrest during the peak summer travel season.

 
 
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