Ottawa to end strike

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CanadianEh
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Ottawa to end strike

Post by CanadianEh » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:51 pm

http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/otta ... ada-strike
OTTAWA TO LEGISLATE END TO AIR CANADA STRIKE
The federal government will introduce legislation Tuesday night to end the Air Canada strike and "ensure continuing air service for passengers," Labour Minister Lisa Raitt says.

The details of the new legislation are not yet clear, but Raitt told the House of Commons Tuesday she was concerned the walkout by customer service and sales staff will have an effect on Canada's economic recovery.

Air travellers across the country are facing some delays after Air Canada customer service and sales staff went on strike at midnight when their union failed to reach an agreement with the airline

After a few early-morning delays in Atlantic Canada and Montreal, flights were reported cancelled or delayed at Toronto's Pearson Airport. Lineups were expected at gates, as passengers boarded their flights. An Air Canada spokesman attributed slower boarding to managers learning their new jobs.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline is treating the work stoppage the same way it would a severe winter storm or some other irregular operation.

"We have a contingency plan that is quite robust," said Fitzpatrick. "We have 22,000 other Air Canada employees who will continue to show up and work.… We are planning to work a full schedule."

Canadian Auto Workers president Ken Lewenza said the union, which represents the 3,800 workers, had tentatively agreed with the airline on some contract issues, but the two sides remained far apart on pensions and wages.

'Full flight schedule' continues

The airline has downplayed the potential impact of a strike and said it would continue to operate a "full flight schedule" with more than 1,700 managers assisting at airports and call centres.

A union representative was skeptical.

"That can't happen," said Corinne Aubin, vice-president of the western region for Local 2002, after workers walked out in Edmonton. "We have 3,800 workers that are out, that are experienced. Their average experience is 20 years … you don't replace that with somebody who took a two-week training course.

"I think the public will suffer. They'll see the long lineups, they'll see the delays ... I feel quite heartbroken for the passengers," said Aubin. "This isn't what we wanted."

There could potentially be many more Air Canada workers off the job. CAW has called on employees with other unions not to cross the picket lines — including pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and baggage handlers.

Tuesday morning, CBC reporter Jeff Semple said there were few problems reported at airports in Halifax and St. John's. Operations at Pearson airport in Toronto also appeared relatively normal, but striking workers had set up a picket line to block the Air Canada employee parking lot, where they were slowing, though not stopping, the traffic flow.

Some Air Canada pilots and flight attendants at Montreal's Trudeau airport initially refused to cross the picket line, CBC's Lauren McCallum reported. They waited for managers to escort them into the building. Half an hour later, they crossed and went to work.

Lines had been moving smoothly earlier, but were getting longer.

At Vancouver International Airport, about a dozen workers were picketing Tuesday, but inside the terminal, passengers faced only a short lineup for the self-check-in terminals, and Air Canada staff was checking in luggage. Victoria's airport authority said it didn't anticipate any disruption, as there are no Air Canada employees working there. They say the employees at the Victoria International Airport are with Air Canada Express, a different company with a different union local.

Pensions a sticking point

Air Canada chief operating officer Duncan Dee said the pension sticking point concerns a defined contribution plan for future employees hired after January 2012.

"Private sector companies in this country are shifting to defined contribution plans generally …," he said on CBC Radio's Metro Morning in Toronto. "The only way we can ensure the long-term viability of Air Canada and thereby ensure the long-term employment of our employees is making changes to keep up with the times."

In defined contribution plans, money is paid into an independently managed investment plan similar to an RRSP, with employees assuming some of the risk. With older, "defined benefit" plans, money is paid into a pension fund, and the company is responsible for making predefined payments to retirees.

Dee apologized to customers for the inconvenience caused by the labour dispute. "Hopefully, it's not a dispute that will last too long. We're ready to the bargaining table at any time."

Discussions had seemed to progress positively through Monday, Lewenza said, but the airline's position on the employee pension plan proved intractable.

"For them to stick to their position after considerable debate is surprising and disappointing," he said. "I don't think Air Canada put the customers front and centre on this particular dispute."

Current employees would be able to retire with a full pension at age 55 after 25 years of work, but Fitzpatrick said it was standard industry practice for new hires to receive lesser benefits.

"We think it's unfortunate that the CAW has allowed ideology to overrule the best interests of their members."

Wages remain an outstanding issue as well, said Lewenza.

'We recognize the significant sacrifice our members have made in the past decade and are asking our members to be rewarded based on the fact that there's been 75 per cent productivity improvements in the workplace.

"If you improve productivity in the workplace, then workers are entitled to get some dividends as a result," said Lewenza.

Air Canada reported a net loss of $19 million in the first quarter of this year, and in May said it expected higher fuel prices to add $800 million to its costs in 2011.
Stupid Lisa Rat
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dcabrown
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by dcabrown » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:06 pm

What happened to good ol' conservative free market principles Lisa?

Wonder what the folks over at WJ have to say about this...

What about the charter operations that might stand to gain extra business

What about Porter

What about VIA rail (which you actually own Lisa)

What about all of the international carriers who operating out of YYZ who have increased bookings resulting from the labour action? What about the transborder operators?

Does Lisa know that AC is not the only airline that operates in Canada. QUICK! someone name 5 routes that only AC operates that are of material importance to the economic recovery of this country...

YYZ to .....

I'm not picking sides here. I just don't understand the reaction from the federal government here. It's not like AC has a monopoly over all air travel to and from the country.
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dcabrown
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by dcabrown » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:12 pm

Last I checked, I can still get anywhere in the world on carriers other than Air Canada.

May take a few extra hours, and would be far less convenient. Heck, may even have to hop on a US regional to get to a mainline hub (EEWWW), but at the end of the day, what business does the federal government have interfering with a private, for profit company.

And all this (mostly) at the expense of WJ, a profitable tax paying entity who would otherwise benefit. :smt017
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Brize
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by Brize » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:14 pm

Free market? You're in for a real treat if you think this government believes in free market negotiations.

I assume the majority of ACPA membership voted for her government. I've been thinking that voter regret will sink in when Ms. Raitt does what she does best. It does not really matter who she angers because it's proven she is politically untouchable. Her/Harper's last move was inevitable.

ACPA is next on her sights... good luck.
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by Inverted2 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:18 pm

She blocked Jazz employees from striking last year. CR has some powerful friends.
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Rockie
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by Rockie » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:38 pm

I can't believe Air Canada wants a bunch of very disgruntled employees, but with every employee group set to fight AC's pension demands and the government hair triggered to legislate them all back to work that's exactly what they're going to get.

This is shaping up to be a very hot, angry summer.
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ChallengerDan
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by ChallengerDan » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:42 pm

Apparently, in Canada, if you are flying the maple leaf, you are not allowed to strike...
Lisa is doing it again...
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CanadianEh
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by CanadianEh » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:29 pm

I stand behind the striking AC employees 100%. As many of you have said, many employees don't earn what they deserve, they earn what they negotiate. The government clearly isn't respecting the negotiation process if they are forcing the employees to go back to work.
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MackTheKnife
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by MackTheKnife » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:49 pm

If the government goes ahead with it's threat to force the CAW back, they no doubt will force every other AC union back as well.

By doing so the government is defacto endorsing the elimination of DB pension plans in Canada. Interesting times ahead for sure.
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by North Shore » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:58 pm

I wonder how many of the CAW members voted for the Conservatives? :roll:
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bearinmind
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by bearinmind » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:15 pm

Here is a letter I just sent to my MP. Remember this is going to happen to us so we may as well get behing this right now.

I am reading that your co-worker Lisa Rait is going to motion that the government intervene in the current strike at air Canada.

There is no reason that the government should intervene in a private company's business dealings and should let the legal process take its course without government intervention.

If this motion should pass and you vote in favour of this motion I will start a petition to have you recalled. I will encourage all my co-workers to start a simillar process in all the PC ridings across Canada.


You can send a simmilar letter to your PC MP and you can find them here...

http://www.parl.gc.ca/ParlInfo/compilat ... x?Menu=HOC
or google 'Find your Member of Parliament using your Postal Code' and it will take you right there. It only takes a minute and we will be heard.

send your own letter or cut and paste this one. Feel free to correct any spelling mistakes. :D
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CD
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by CD » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:48 pm

It might help if you had the correct politial party name... The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada (PC) ceased to exist on December 7th, 2003, when the Canadian Alliance bought the name and rebranded themselves as the Conservative Party of Canada. :wink:
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flyinhigh
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by flyinhigh » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:52 pm

I wonder if anyone has explained to her what would happen if about 15000 AC employees worked to rule after legislation.

I bet it would be ALOT cheaper to just let it go the way it is.

CR knew this would happen and that is exactly why they did not agree to ANYTHING, he knew that the Gouverment would step in so why play nice before hand.
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bcflyer
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by bcflyer » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:55 pm

I would strongly encourage everyone here to send an email to the Ms Raitt and your MP. Even if you don't work for Air Canada this decision affects you. If we allow the government to remove the right to strike for absolutely no legal reason we will all suffer.
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by Inverted2 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:26 pm

I smell a Raitt
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prop2jet
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by prop2jet » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:53 pm

Having gone through this last year at Jazz, I can tell you that writing your MP and especially Minister RAT is not going to accomplish a hell of a whole lot except for say a little venting.

Government interference at an early juncture has become common place as all they have to do is utter that a strike will cause undue hardship to the economy and inconvenience many. This is the new reality, in essence the right to strike has been taken away and management knows they can count on it to avoid negotiating a settlement.

The loudest message that could be sent to the politicians in Ottawa would be one where labour in all sectors of the economy throughout the country were to walk off. I doubt that will ever happen until people actually wake up and see what is going on.
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by Inverted2 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:58 pm

I'm sure the Rat travels lots on AC. I imagine it will get lots of friendly smiles next time it checks in.

They should picket out in front of her house. Sending emails will do jack-squat.
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rudder
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by rudder » Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:04 pm

So how many of you trade unionists voted conservative last month? This is the result. Congratulations.
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CAL
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by CAL » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:42 pm

I am in shock that the Canadian Government is taking sides with AC management......whats next?
what does this mean for every other union?
what is going on in Canada?
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by Brize » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:26 pm

CAL wrote:I am in shock that the Canadian Government is taking sides with AC management......whats next?
what does this mean for every other union?
what is going on in Canada?
Shock?

Maybe it would have helped to follow along to what happened to Jazz ALPA last summer. This has been foreshadowed to a tee.
Ms. Raitt got away with it un-phased.

Her response to me follows.
Dear Mr. Pilot:

Thank you for your correspondence, which was addressed to your Member of Parliament, Ms. Olivia Chow, with regard to the Jazz Air Limited Partnership collective bargaining dispute. In your correspondence, you express concern about the Government's actions during the negotiations between Jazz Air Limited Partnership, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Canadian Flight Attendants Union (CFAU).

The Government strongly believes that free collective bargaining is the best method for arriving at terms and conditions of employment in unionized workplaces. Our preference is always to have the two sides reach a negotiated agreement.

However, when a strike or lockout occurs as a result of bargaining difficulties and has a significant negative impact on the public interest, the right of employers and unions to sort out their differences through work stoppages must be balanced against broader concerns.

In the case of Jazz and ALPA's bargaining, the Government did not seek to pre-empt the right to strike or lock out, but it did signal its intention to table back to work legislation if an eventual work stoppage were to have serious adverse consequences for the national economy.

I am pleased that with the assistance of federal mediators, the parties were able to reach settlements without any work stoppage.

I trust that the above information is helpful and I thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention.

Yours sincerely,





The Honourable Lisa Raitt, P.C. M.P.
Minister of Labour


c.c. Ms. Olivia Chow, M.P.

Voters are so ignorant. Puppets in fact.
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by loadshed » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:30 pm

Raitt did the same thing when Jazz pilots were all set for a legal strike position. Difficult to negotiate with one arm tied behind your back, courtesy of your Conservative elected officials.
This back to work legislation talk could be seen coming from miles away.
The party will continue with this in the future, particularly now with a Harper majority.
Why is anyone surprised by this? The current Conservatives are the most anti-labour government this country has ever seen, with little regard for the legal framework in place to enable workers to negotiate a fair contract.
This will affect ALL unions in this country.
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CAL
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by CAL » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:57 pm

but then if government does this you are forced to go back to the same conditions? so nothing has been achieved by the strike in the first place so you strike again?
What if 3800 folks just dont go back to work?
what does this mean for ACPA?
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by DrBoeing » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:13 pm

flyinhigh wrote:I wonder if anyone has explained to her what would happen if about 15000 AC employees worked to rule after legislation.

I bet it would be ALOT cheaper to just let it go the way it is.

CR knew this would happen and that is exactly why they did not agree to ANYTHING, he knew that the Gouverment would step in so why play nice before hand.
It is the old cliche, be careful for what you wish for, you may just get it.
They have to report for duty, does mot mean they will work. Mass sick outs, long long breaks, adhering to the SOP's to the letter will kill AC.
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by DrBoeing » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:19 pm

prop2jet wrote:Having gone through this last year at Jazz, I can tell you that writing your MP and especially Minister RAT is not going to accomplish a hell of a whole lot except for say a little venting.

Government interference at an early juncture has become common place as all they have to do is utter that a strike will cause undue hardship to the economy and inconvenience many. This is the new reality, in essence the right to strike has been taken away and management knows they can count on it to avoid negotiating a settlement.

The loudest message that could be sent to the politicians in Ottawa would be one where labour in all sectors of the economy throughout the country were to walk off. I doubt that will ever happen until people actually wake up and see what is going on.
An easy way to get the governments attention is to have all the unions get together and shut the place down for a few days. The pandemonium would bring lots of attention and we could demand that this situation be rectified and it may be time to demand that Rovinescu get tossed as well, contrary to his smiling YOUTUBE videos, this man is a snake and he showed that clear as day during CCAA and if you think he changed during those years, guess again, he is still a serpent
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Re: Ottawa to end strike

Post by KAG » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:41 pm

Seems to me our elected government is making the rules up as they go. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a union fan, but I’m sure as sh!t not a fan of our elected officials interfering with a completely legal strike. This completely show’s favoritism towards the company, as well as makes it impossible for AC employees to fight for a fair contract.

Why not go to the media? Get a labor lawyer who is both media savvy and well versed in labor law to explain to the masses that this is an attack on everyone’s civil liberties!? Demonstrate just how this could effect any group (union or not) thinking of labor action and the impact to all other sectors in negotiations.

I don’t think the pension in its current form is sustainable, but let democracy run its course and let the two groups hammer out a FAIR contract. Painful changes are coming, especially with the baby boomers retiring, but this is NOT the way to bring change.
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