The environment has never been better?
May I respectfully ask if you are familiar with the terms of your current Collective Agreement, specifically with respect to the re-openers?
My understanding is that Air Canada pilots do not currently have the option of job action (contractually, or 'otherwise' - remember how few followed suit in the instance of a former union chair's illness book-off? That was a turning point - in the wrong direction - from a labor standpoint, anyway)
I don't understand how one might view the current circumstance as an environment conducive to making substantial gains. I believe the already-agreed-upon interest arbitration rules are very restrictive and that relevant comparators (read: Canadian-based carriers) that an arbitrator might look at are quite limited.
I cannot see how, for Air Canada pilots, that their current bargaining environment could be characterized in any positive way. And if you are perhaps suggesting that the profitability of the company or the health of the "pilot economy" (i.e. times of hiring and a potential future shortage on the supply side) are somehow relevant in this particular instance, I believe you are mistaken; that will only get their attention when the long line up of applicants dries up. And regardless, the framework for the re-openers is in place and not changeable, except by mutual agreement of the parties.
The only potential for upside of any substance under the current conditions would be if Air Canada pilots had something that was desirable to the company - something to leverage any possible gains against.
Not a great environment at all.
Actually, AC pilots have something that management desperately wants: Rouge expansion. The question is: why would ACPA give this up for anything less than the elimination of LOU74?
Respectfully, I believe your point/rhetorical question is moot, or at the very least, somewhat confusing. How could ACPA both "trade"/leverage allowing expansion under the Rouge LOU and at the same time achieve the elimination of the Rouge LOU? That makes no sense to me. I would enquire as to whether you meant to write that the company would desire "Rouge expansion under LOU 74".
To further clarify (for the sake of those reading this who may not understand) it appears that the company wants Rouge expansion under the conditions specified in LOU 74. i.e. they wish to raise Rouge's current 50-airplane cap. With the rhetorical scenario as presented by the poster there would be no "trade" necessary - if Air Canada pilots could find a way to compel them to abandon LOU 74, obviously they could make Rouge 500 airframes if they wanted to - and operate them under the current mainline pilot collective agreement.
Having said that however, making LOU 74 go away under the current framework/bargaining environment is nothing more than wishful thinking. Why would the company willingly give up a pilot B-scale in negotiations? They won't. And there are no means/nothing to offer them to compel them to do so, are there? I can well understand that the NC, MEC, and every single last pilot member would prefer one set of wages and working conditions - but in the absence of being able to take some kind of job action or collectively bargain such a change, the current reality seems to be that it is here to stay. And no amount of finger-pointing, residual anger, or personal attacks will change that unfortunate fact.
Again, it's a poor bargaining situation to be in. I believe Air Canada pilots will eventually have a choice to make between holding their noses and allowing Rouge expansion in order to secure gains for the group as a whole, or accepting what interest arbitration may bring. That's a choice that I hope all will invest time and energy in making rather than simply subscribing to groupthink as some have in the past (from either 'camp'); a choice that will likely be largely dependent upon where one sits on the seniority list, and to which pension plan one currently belongs.
Furthermore, I suspect the waters will soon be muddied further when the company suggests that expanding Rouge will be the only means by which to keep the E190's (or something like that) around.
I certainly don't envy the difficult task the hard-working volunteers on the Air Canada pilots NC and MEC have before them.