January 27, 2012 at 2:15 PM
(Toronto/ Montreal) Inflight and flight operations crew schedulers have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike if necessary.
Inflight crew schedulers voted 96 per cent in favour of going on strike if necessary, while flight operations crew schedulers have voted 97 per cent in favour. No deadline has been set. Negotiations have been ongoing since the summertime and the current collective agreement expired on May 22.
Raising the ire of members is the plan by Air Canada to move the scheduling operations from Montreal to a new centre in Toronto. The CAW, representing the crew schedulers, has offered up a number of solutions that would be more cost-efficient than relocating staff and building a new centre – both of which will come at a significant expense to Air Canada. The move would cause what the union is calling the unnecessary uprooting of 120 families.
"Our members gave us a strong and informed mandate going forward. This sends a clear message to Air Canada to address our concerns and bargain a fair contract for our members," said Gaetano Amodeo, CAW chairperson at Air Canada flight operations.
Air Canada crew schedulers have not taken a strike vote for more than 21 years.
"Clearly it is time for the company to get serious and reach a fair collective agreement. Our members are extremely frustrated at what they see as an unnecessary and destructive move by the company to relocate approximately 120 people," said Frank Spinelli, CAW's bargaining chairperson at Air Canada’s inflight crew scheduling.
CAW Local 2002 represents 76 members in inflight and 46 flight operations crew schedulers.
CAW members working in customer service at Air Canada went on strike in June, lasting until the two sides were able to reach a collective agreement three days later.