Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

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Mig29
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#151 Post by Mig29 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:24 pm

maybe we should just stop using the word "right" and ask ourselves is this "alright?".

Yes, I know you can go in McDonalds and burn your lips on hot coffee and sue them after.....or sue AC for not giving you 7 Up in French and win! Yes, you can sue a carrier for not giving you an extra free seat if you happen to be overweight.....and so on, but is this "alright"??

That answer of course will be different depends who you ask, but so far the decision has been one sided in this case.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#152 Post by Rockie » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:52 pm

Mig29 wrote:maybe we should just stop using the word "right" and ask ourselves is this "alright?".
That's a good idea.

I don't think it's alright that anybody should be forced to retire from a job they're capable of doing simply because of their age. I don't think it's alright that the pilot union failed to see the massively huge writing on the wall and fought an expensive and futile fight trying to prevent the unpreventable. I don't think it's alright that most pilots were happy to delay the inevitable as long as possible to further advance themselves up the list until the hammer dropped and pay whatever consequences resulted later. I don't think it's alright that those same pilots are now bitching about those consequences that they themselves knowingly created.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#153 Post by Raymond Hall » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:13 pm

Rockie wrote:Interestingly the company chose to limit the career choices of all wide body FO's based on their age and the union seemed to have nothing to say about it. Moot now that the over/under requirement has been eliminated, but I think it was only a matter of time before someone mounted an age discrimination complaint against AC/ACPA over that as well.
Indeed. A complaint was filed last month with respect to that and with respect to other aspects of LOU 75 as well, including the age-prejudicial aspects of the GDIP.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#154 Post by Ah_yeah » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:43 am

Raymond Hall wrote:
Rockie wrote:Interestingly the company chose to limit the career choices of all wide body FO's based on their age and the union seemed to have nothing to say about it. Moot now that the over/under requirement has been eliminated, but I think it was only a matter of time before someone mounted an age discrimination complaint against AC/ACPA over that as well.
Indeed. A complaint was filed last month with respect to that and with respect to other aspects of LOU 75 as well, including the age-prejudicial aspects of the GDIP.
Insurance is full of age discrimantion...gender too.
Every pimpley 16 year old male that wants to drive a car can attest to that. Acknowledging that senior Air Canada pilots are "special", do you really want to go there ?
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#155 Post by ahramin » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:49 am

Well said Rockie.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#156 Post by Old fella » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:38 am

Yer on a roll, boys. Seven pages and counting.............

:smt014 :smt018
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#157 Post by Rockie » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:18 pm

Ah_yeah wrote:Insurance is full of age discrimantion...gender too. Every pimpley 16 year old male that wants to drive a car can attest to that. Acknowledging that senior Air Canada pilots are "special", do you really want to go there ?
I don't totally disagree with your comment regarding insurance since I think they use statistics to gouge their customers, but at least they have statistics backing up their argument. But you are mistaken thinking this change has anything to do with acknowledging that senior Air Canada pilots are special.

This is a human rights issue that effects everybody in the Canada. Provincially regulated workers have had protection from age discrimination for a long time and now the federal government has finally caught up with the rest of the country. This isn't about Air Canada pilots, but Air Canada must comply with Canadian law however much it annoys the junior pilots.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#158 Post by 777longhaul » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:58 pm

This issue, a long time ago, went to an acpa IVR vote. The "junior" pilots, did not respond all that much. So it must not have been a big deal to all of the juniors, as the COMPLETE lack of interest in the IVR vote shows, that the total pilots, only 44% even bothered to vote against this issue, and that includes all the pilots, not just the juniors. So, all this banter is coming from a few.....who like to stir it up, but have no size to their numbers.

The only vote acpa did, and published. The questions were carefully worded, and still.....the lack of interest in this IVR vote shows how un-important this issue was to ALL the pilots.

The IVR vote, # 72 had 3083 possible voters, (pilots eligible to vote) of that amount, 1382, voted to support the age discrimination rule, in the acpa contract. That is far less than the 75% that Justice Annis refers to.



IVR vote # 72:

3083 eligible

1382 yes

458 NO

Total votes 1840.

The total lack of interest, of the remaining pilots, who did not vote, (1243) shows, that acpa did NOT have a majority vote. They failed on the the yes vote, and on the total amount of voters that even showed any interest in the IVR vote.

This is a great difference that needs to be corrected. ONLY 44% of the pilots voted to maintain the discriminatory acpa contract.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#159 Post by Raymond Hall » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:31 am

Until about 10 years ago, legal knowledge was generally either a proprietary asset or it was expensive to obtain. Very expensive. Several dollars per minute to get results from QuickLaw or WestLaw.

Not so any more. The Federation of Law Societies, representing all of the Law Societies in Canada, formed a collective to make decisions from all courts, Boards and tribunals, and arbitrators and most adjudicative administrators available to the public for free.

Visit: http://www.canlii.org/en/index.html to obtain copies of all decisions related to the legal issue of your particular interest. You can search CanLII using Boolean search terms to narrow the results.

Almost all of the decisions related to this thread are posted on that site. To obtain only the Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence on a particular issue, select Federal / Supreme Court of Canada. You will find the binding case law precedent that governs the determinations of the lower courts and the Tribunals on this issue.

One of the specific issues of relevance to this thread is the SCC's dealing with the issue of differential treatment. Does any differential treatment constitute discrimination? Answer: Not always. Some differential treatment, based on gender, age etc. is just that, differential treatment, but not discrimination. Examples: survivor pension benefits and welfare payments to young persons. As Justice Binnie pointed out, quoting Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, a sign that says "Men Only" has a different significance when it is posted on a bathroom door than when it is posted on a courtroom door.

Of course, some differential treatment does meet the threshold of discrimination. The SCC has set out number of legal and factual tests to assist the lower courts in analyzing these issues, to determine when the threshold is met.

Keep in mind that this area of the law is a "moving target." Each new decision from the SCC provides new nuances, with some previous decisions and principles of legal analysis falling out of favour.

Nevertheless, recently the SCC has been quite consistent, in my view, in a number of areas of administrative law. Most importantly, it has become more aggressive in encouraging or requiring the lower courts to not interfere with the final decisions of administrative tribunals unless the applicants on judicial review can demonstrate that the decisions in question are not just wrong, but wholly unreasonable, given the facts and the law of the particular case.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#160 Post by Fanblade » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:59 pm

777longhaul wrote:This issue, a long time ago, went to an acpa IVR vote. The "junior" pilots, did not respond all that much. So it must not have been a big deal to all of the juniors, as the COMPLETE lack of interest in the IVR vote shows, that the total pilots, only 44% even bothered to vote against this issue, and that includes all the pilots, not just the juniors. So, all this banter is coming from a few.....who like to stir it up, but have no size to their numbers.

The only vote acpa did, and published. The questions were carefully worded, and still.....the lack of interest in this IVR vote shows how un-important this issue was to ALL the pilots.

The IVR vote, # 72 had 3083 possible voters, (pilots eligible to vote) of that amount, 1382, voted to support the age discrimination rule, in the acpa contract. That is far less than the 75% that Justice Annis refers to.



IVR vote # 72:

3083 eligible

1382 yes

458 NO

Total votes 1840.

The total lack of interest, of the remaining pilots, who did not vote, (1243) shows, that acpa did NOT have a majority vote. They failed on the the yes vote, and on the total amount of voters that even showed any interest in the IVR vote.

This is a great difference that needs to be corrected. ONLY 44% of the pilots voted to maintain the discriminatory acpa contract.

A large enough cross section participated for a reasonable individual to determine that 75%, +/- a small margin of error, were in favor of maintaining the practice.

No one with any credibility, would read the vote otherwise while trying to determine support for either direction.

Why exactly are you trying redifine the meaning of the results anyway? What relevance does that have now?
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#161 Post by Ah_yeah » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:03 pm

Now, if he could only figure out who the 1382 were so he could go after them for additional damages. :(
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#162 Post by Bored » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:17 pm

What was the question in IVR 72? If I recall it wasn't a call to defend mandatory retirement to the bitter end.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#163 Post by 777longhaul » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:00 pm

You can go onto the acpa site, and look up the IVR vote, assuming you are an AC pilot with acpa website access.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#164 Post by duranium » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:23 am

Mig29 wrote:regardless, few thousands bucks more or less, these guys are retiring with more net income then majority of line captains are taking home today in Canada.

I said it before and I say it today again....greed of the humanity is what will bring the end of our civilization. The "democratic" rights of minorities are slowly chocking the democratically established rights of the majority, but the ones in power don't care, as long as it doesn't affect them...
Why can your side of the equation not stop from inventing new ways for us readers to not believe you? You write '' regardless, few thousands bucks more or less''. You start off by brushing aside with your regardless the importance of the inaccuracy then compound it with the importance of the sum of this same inaccuracy. A few thousand bucks is no small change for most income earners, may I suggest. You must suspect that more than a few readers on this site can and will checks the veracity of what is written but there you go trying to snow us under with creative prose.

Facts sells ideas not lies, try it sometimes, then we will consider believing you.

As for the second part of your post about minorities chocking majority rights, you should read the news about a certain Vladimir Putin's medlings in Ukrane. That could slightly change your opinion on the goings on in certain parts of the world when muscle replaces rights
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#165 Post by duranium » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:38 am

Ah_yeah wrote:Now, if he could only figure out who the 1382 were so he could go after them for additional damages. :(
I would presume that the way things are going for one side, that could be forthcoming in the not too distant future ... but, one never knows for certain untill the hammer falls. Stay tuned for the next chapters in this saga :lol:
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#166 Post by Mig29 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:43 pm

creative prose??? Give me a freaking break Duranium :shock:

What do you think this is other then forum where your opinion is just that, an opinion. Just like mine. As for the money, I didn't quote any specific amounts, but I know how much AC guys make vs other airlines, those are not opinions but its out there in the public. So when you consider the actual pension potential of AC guys, I just can't feel sorry for those few that chose to stay in order to pay "their bills and feed their family". Many pilots in Canada can only wish they had the earning potential and stability that AC provided to them. That's a fact.

As for your Ukrainian topic, I didn't want to get in this discussion as the moderators may get upset :wink: As much as I'm media skeptic, I (choose to) have access to a lot more then your typical copy cats of Western media. Including European, Russian, Asian and Middle Eastern media. You speak of Putin's meddling.....have you seen how the "pro-democratic" protesters savagely beat the crap of Ukrainian police for almost 3 months?? In the name of democracy??? If this was Canada or US, those protesters would be shot dead point blank! You can bet your life on this!

Open up your eyes my friend....
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#167 Post by 777longhaul » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:40 pm

Fanblade

Your questions:

A large enough cross section participated for a reasonable individual to determine that 75%, +/- a small margin of error, were in favor of maintaining the practice.

No one with any credibility, would read the vote otherwise while trying to determine support for either direction.

Why exactly are you trying redifine the meaning of the results anyway? What relevance does that have now?



My answers:

It was not a large cross section, large implies more than the 44% of the whole group. That was not large. When there is LESS than 50% that voted NO, that is not a majority vote. There is NO MANDATE to continue to fight this issue, way back then, and now.

acpa, did not get the majority vote that it was after. They never ever did. So the continued fight, that ONLY acpa is doing, as the other unions at AC saw what was wrong with the situation, and accepted their members back, after a grievance was filed and ruled upon. Some, members came back without grievances being filed. Wow-eh! ONLY acpa refused to allow, (file a grievance) for the active pilots who were not yet retired. These were pilots who were in good standing with the union, and were paying max union dues.

The credibility to read the IVR vote, is very simple, a yes or no answer. DID acpa GET A MAJORITY NO VOTE, .....NO IS THE ANSWER.

I am not redefining the meaning of the results. That cant be done by anyone. The results, speak, clearly for themselves.

The purpose of discussing this issue, is simple, many on this forum, do not know about the actual IVR vote, and that acpa did not get a majority vote, yet, they have spent over a million dollars fighting this issue, and they continue to do so, even, though, all the other unions at AC have changed their stance, and accepted their members back. So.....maybe they are right, and all the others are wrong, the courts will decide. So the fight continues, with all the other unions at AC doing a totally different dance than acpa. The courts will decide, regardless.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#168 Post by accumulous » Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:51 am

777longhaul wrote:Fanblade

Your questions:

A large enough cross section participated for a reasonable individual to determine that 75%, +/- a small margin of error, were in favor of maintaining the practice.

No one with any credibility, would read the vote otherwise while trying to determine support for either direction.

Why exactly are you trying redifine the meaning of the results anyway? What relevance does that have now?



My answers:

It was not a large cross section, large implies more than the 44% of the whole group. That was not large. When there is LESS than 50% that voted NO, that is not a majority vote. There is NO MANDATE to continue to fight this issue, way back then, and now.

acpa, did not get the majority vote that it was after. They never ever did. So the continued fight, that ONLY acpa is doing, as the other unions at AC saw what was wrong with the situation, and accepted their members back, after a grievance was filed and ruled upon. Some, members came back without grievances being filed. Wow-eh! ONLY acpa refused to allow, (file a grievance) for the active pilots who were not yet retired. These were pilots who were in good standing with the union, and were paying max union dues.

The credibility to read the IVR vote, is very simple, a yes or no answer. DID acpa GET A MAJORITY NO VOTE, .....NO IS THE ANSWER.

I am not redefining the meaning of the results. That cant be done by anyone. The results, speak, clearly for themselves.

The purpose of discussing this issue, is simple, many on this forum, do not know about the actual IVR vote, and that acpa did not get a majority vote, yet, they have spent over a million dollars fighting this issue, and they continue to do so, even, though, all the other unions at AC have changed their stance, and accepted their members back. So.....maybe they are right, and all the others are wrong, the courts will decide. So the fight continues, with all the other unions at AC doing a totally different dance than acpa. The courts will decide, regardless.
A lot of confusion about the mysteries of the vote was left twisting in the wind because the results of the 'vote', were characterized both in-house and right across the country, in a multitude of venues, namely every major piece of newsprint, as representing an 'OVERWHELMING' majority, and in some papers as a 'VAST, OVERWHELMING' majority.

Was the majority really big? Well it was bigger than just big. It was Vast, and not only that, it was downright Overwhelming.

So out of 3083 eligible voters, the 1701 (ONE THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED AND ONE) pilots, the REAL MAJORITY of pilots, a number that likely exceeded the combined total of all pilots in the Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg bases combined, who either did not vote or voted against the scheme, must have entered a transcendental state of cross-eyed delirium when they were told that a vast, overwhelming majority of pilots, actually, every pilot, was about to cough up several million in legal fees, and unbeknownst to them, several hundred million in windfall gains to the Corporation, and who knows how many more millions if the only group of pilots in the entire nation pursuing such a scheme, were to get convicted of discrimination.

If you have a huge agenda, you will need mega-funding. Get some numbers, blow them up in the press until they're just downright overwhelming, and then get all your colleagues to fork it out. Trust us, we know what we're doing.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#169 Post by Fanblade » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:47 am

777longhaul,

This is way before my time and is now infact irrelevant. And thanks for the explanation why.

You could poll a much much smaller group on a question and be reasonably sure, within a fairly small margin of error, the groups opinion. The more people polled the smaller the margin of error gets. Polling more than 50% of the pilot group leaves a very small margin of error.

I understand your explanation but it doesn't hold water. It is clear from the vote that 75% of ACPA pilots, within a small margin of error, wanted a specific direction taken. No one with any kind of statistical back ground would interpret it any other way.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#170 Post by ahramin » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:11 pm

I am not an AC pilot.

Fanblade, was this a poll? It sounds like it was a vote that everyone was open to vote to. If so then that's different from a poll of a random section of a population. Yes you can get results from random polls that show the opinion of a group, but it has to be random. There is nothing random about opening up a vote to everyone and only counting the ones who care enough about the issue to vote on it.
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#171 Post by MackTheKnife » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:29 pm

Bored wrote:What was the question in IVR 72? If I recall it wasn't a call to defend mandatory retirement to the bitter end.
The fix was in on this vote long before it ever saw the light of day. The MEC sat down and decided the outcome well before it was presented to the membership.

Instead of taking a methodical/ logical stance on such an important issue, the MEC worded the vote biased in their favor. I can't remember the exact words but it went something like,

" Do you support the MECs position of maintaining Age 60 retirement."

Right off the bat they were guaranteed almost every junior vote and every vote from those who are incapable of thinking for themselves and always go along just because its the easy way out. In most organizations there are always the apathetic ones who could care less and never vote regardless of the issue, so they could count on that % as well.

For a truly unbiased decision they should have put all the facts on the table pro and con and asked the group to decide the issue and NOT try to sway the vote to an outcome the MEC pre-determined.

MTK
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#172 Post by accumulous » Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:56 pm

MackTheKnife wrote:
Bored wrote:What was the question in IVR 72? If I recall it wasn't a call to defend mandatory retirement to the bitter end.
The fix was in on this vote long before it ever saw the light of day. The MEC sat down and decided the outcome well before it was presented to the membership.

Instead of taking a methodical/ logical stance on such an important issue, the MEC worded the vote biased in their favor. I can't remember the exact words but it went something like,

" Do you support the MECs position of maintaining Age 60 retirement."

Right off the bat they were guaranteed almost every junior vote and every vote from those who are incapable of thinking for themselves and always go along just because its the easy way out. In most organizations there are always the apathetic ones who could care less and never vote regardless of the issue, so they could count on that % as well.

For a truly unbiased decision they should have put all the facts on the table pro and con and asked the group to decide the issue and NOT try to sway the vote to an outcome the MEC pre-determined.

MTK[/quote


If that's the case then the vote had ZERO validity. Once you introduce any one of a number of biases, your validity is automatically zilch.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misuse_of_statistics
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#173 Post by Doug Moore » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:56 pm

"For a truly unbiased decision they should have put all the facts on the table pro and con and asked the group to decide the issue and NOT try to sway the vote to an outcome the MEC pre-determined."

ACPA and its "grassroots" membership always approached the FP60 issue as if it was a "majority rules" issue. In my view, that was the wrong approach to take and events have since shown that to be true. I wrote the following a few years ago: http://www.avcanada.ca/forums2/viewtopi ... 56#p667956

Having silently followed the discussions here in the years that have followed, it appears that little has changed with AK-PAW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AWjzCRC174&feature=fvsr :roll:

Cheers,

Doug
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#174 Post by Rockie » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:08 pm

This is what the vote question said when it was conducted in October 2006. The MEC had already made their decision without any pro/con explanation to the pilot group, no chance to adequately understand the issue as it stood then or was likely to effect them in the future, and no feedback from the pilot group except the results of this vote that were ill-informed and underwhelming to say the least. Plus none of the over 1000 pilots hired since then have been given any opportunity to express their opinion on the matter.

"QUESTION:

Do you support the MEC’s position to maintain the
Age 60 retirement provisions?

FOR YES PRESS (01) FOR NO PRESS (02)"
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Re: Fed Ct Overturns Tribunal Dismissal of Age 60 Complaints

#175 Post by MackTheKnife » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:42 am

For those who happened to miss this link that Doug posted, it is well worth the read. I took the liberty of copying it here in full.

MTK




"I posted the following comments on another forum sometime in late 2006: Given that age 60 mandatory retirement is such a contentious issue amongst the pilot group; and given that age discrimination (perceived or not) is a "legal" issue as opposed to a "majority rules" issue; and given that 458 ACPA members (approx 25% of those that voted) voted against the MEC's position "supporting the current mandatory age 60 retirement provisions as stated in pilots' pension plans"; and given that ACPA has a duty to fairly represent all of its members; and given that no one wants to see ACPA exposed to any financial liability as a result of the outcome of these proceedings; an interested observer might ask the question: why is ACPA, through its Age 60 Committee, only prepared (it would appear) to represent one side of this controversial issue to the convening authorities?

If ACPA wishes to claim that it truly and fairly represents all of its members then it must be seen to be remaining neutral in what in this case is essentially a "legal" dispute. And in allying itself with the "legal" as opposed to the "majority rules" sentiment, perhaps it might minimize its exposure to financial liability by being able to claim that it has not taken sides. So how does ACPA represent all of its members and at the same time, remain neutral?

I throw this out for discussion: Reconstitute the Age 60 Committee into two committees, one committee pro and the other con - working independently of each other. In any presentations before the convening authorities, the two committees would appear as one, but with equal time given to both sides to present their arguments. We all must understand that this issue will be decided by a third party and I believe we as an Association would present ourselves as a more mature, credible, not to mention professional group if we were to conduct ourselves in a fashion where we acknowledged the division within our group and presented both sides of the argument.

I appreciate that Vilven et al will be presenting their side, but that's not the issue here. The issue is that there is a long standing division of opinion amongst us on mandatory retirement and we, as a unified group of professional pilots, are seeking a resolution to this matter that respects and conforms to the current laws of the land.

End of the 2006 posting.


Well, that rough idea survived about as long as an ice cube dropped into a pot of boiling water – with some suggesting that perhaps it should be the writer and not the ice cube that belonged in the hot water. In my view, this mandatory retirement issue is one that truly represents the Achilles Heel of a “grassroots” organization, in that it has demonstrated that the grassroots are not a power unto themselves.

Our mandatory retirement provisions were put in place over a half-century ago, in a different time when life expectancy was lower than today, when retirement was offered as a reward for long and loyal service, and when flying itself was a much more onerous and gruelling profession. And at a time as well when the term “age discrimination” was simply a part of the social fabric. Remember when AC wouldn’t hire beyond a certain age (28)? Remember when CP assigned course seniority numbers on the basis of age (oldest most senior)? Remember when F/A’s wouldn’t be hired unless they were single? I do. Such exclusionary restrictions gradually went the way of the Dodo bird because people protested and ultimately caused new law to be introduced that enshrines the rights of the individual. The winds of change continue to blow today despite, or more accurately, in spite of those who might wish differently.

I am in agreement with Iain’s point of view on “collective bargaining in a democracy” – to a point. This age-mandated issue has two distinct elements – an age-based element (the human rights issue) and a retirement element (the collective contractual issue). The real “issue” is the conflict between the two. The Collective Agreement (the contractual issue) has its emphasis placed upon the will of the “collective”, i.e., the majority, whereas a human rights issue has its emphasis placed upon the individual. I expect the legal community will determine in the end whether or not, in the matter of mandatory retirement based on age, one trumps the other; the obvious problem for the collective (in my view) being that democracy within a collective is sometimes akin to a vote taken between two wolves and a lamb in the matter of what they’ll have for dinner.

ACPA has failed – and in my view continues to fail - to grasp that age-based retirement is no longer just another working condition to be agreed by a majority vote of the membership and then negotiated with the employer, like wages or DH in Business Class. Forced retirement for some people is akin to constructive dismissal, and this is not just an Air Canada issue, it has been happening in virtually every industry in the country. Because many workers from many industries complain about mandatory retirement, the laws of the land have been changing, and continue to change with respect to forced retirement. The writing has been on the proverbial wall for years and yet ACPA either didn’t see this or worse, felt it was powerful enough to fight it. In any event, the law will determine which rights prevail, the rights of the wolves or the rights of the lamb.

Much has been made of pilots getting to the top of the list by virtue of those ahead of them having already retired at 60. And now, horror of horrors, someone wants to change the rules in order to enjoy the fruits of seniority that has been achieved purely as a result of others retiring before them. This change has been coming for a long time – and it has to happen sometime. I can remember senior pilots fighting mandatory retirement back in the 1980’s – and they lost. Others after them also fought and lost. There has always been someone willing to take up the fight and when mandatory retirement based on age is finally relegated to the history books then yes, the lay of the land will have changed. Just as when we were hired, timing is everything – and none of us has control over timing.

Mandatory retirement, however, has not been the sole determinant of advancement. I do know that pilots quit, pilots get fired, pilots get sick, pilots die and pilots do retire early. In terms of career progression, yes, we all benefited from forced retirement – but progression on the backs of those force-retired doesn’t make it right. When mandatory retirement is expunged pilots will still quit, pilots will still get fired, pilots will still get sick, pilots will still die and pilots will still retire – some earlier, some later, but everybody will be in lock-step on this same, albeit new ladder. When the dust settles, it will not be the end of the world, as we know it.

“Fly until you die.” That’s a nice catchy phrase but hardly reflective, in my view, of the aspirations of the pilots who are fighting mandatory retirement. We have no data from which to predict what will happen but I suspect that the very large majority of those who wish to fly past 60 will do so only until the novelty wears off - and then they will prepare for when they want to retire – and I suspect the overwhelming majority will want to retire as opposed to those who might want to die in the seat. Will there be those who will hang in there until removed due to medical problems, incompetence or death? Yes, there will always be birds of that feather but they will be a rare bird indeed. Instead, think about those who, given the opportunity in the past, have chosen early retirement prior to 60. There have always been, and there always will be guys who want to go early, particularly absent any early retirement penalty. This fly till you die scare tactic is a red herring thrown out in the midst of the hysteria of those who see their career grinding to a halt. Why not concentrate on negotiating an environment amenable both to those who want to leave early as well as to those desirous of going past 60? Win-Win.

I am drawn to this discussion simply due to its debatable nature, as it is a completely academic one for me - I’ve been retired almost 3 years now and I’m not part of the FP60 group. I do, however, support the concept of the abolition of mandatory retirement based on age, as I suspect do many others - well, at least 458 anyway. This is a toxic and divisive issue such that very few are willing to publicly engage out of fear that they will be verbally accosted and/or ostracized. I can’t say as I blame them. We are such a wonderfully dysfunctional group when it comes to seniority and anything that affects it!

It will be interesting to see how many of those who today so vigorously defend retirement at 60 will themselves “walk the talk” when they flip that page in the calendar that says: “Hello 60”. "
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