Major Canadian airline strike looms as deal rejected in Canada

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Published January 3, 2024 at 8:09 am

Pearson Airport Mississauga

Air Transat flight attendants rejected the most recent collective agreement sparking concerns of a strike.

The flight attendants struck down the tentative agreement for the renewal of their collective agreement but management has agreed to resume discussions with the union executive, according to a press release from Transat A.T. Inc. on Jan. 2.

Air Transat, founded in 1986, is based in Montreal and operates scheduled and charter flights to 60 destinations in 25 countries. It is owned and operated by Transat A.T. Inc.

There are currently no strike or lock-out notices issued by either party, and both are keen to reach a new agreement quickly, the press release states.

But the flight attendants’ union, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) executive had approved the tentative agreement, without restriction, on Dec. 14.

CUPE represents about 18,500 flight attendants in Canada.

Julie Lamontagne, chief people, sustainability and communications officer of Transat, said the agreement was negotiated in good faith and met the interests of both parties.

“We are disappointed by this outcome, as we were confident that the tentative agreement would be accepted by the majority of our flight attendants,” said Lamontagne. “We are returning to the bargaining table, and our objective remains to find common ground as soon as possible.”

CUPE reportedly said one of the main reasons the flight attendants rejected the deal was the wages offered fail to keep up with higher living costs.

Transat A.T. Inc. says at this time, all Air Transat flights are maintained, and the usual terms and conditions apply.

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