Bloomberg News

Air Canada Averts Strike as Accord Is Reached With Attendants

September 20, 2011

Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Air Canada’s flight attendants reached a tentative agreement to avert a strike at the country’s largest carrier just hours after an impasse in the negotiations.

The accord followed “marathon” talks that began on Aug. 31 , the Air Canada Contingent of the Canadian Union of Public Employees said in a statement. The union’s 6,800 workers would have been able to walk out at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, and their leaders urged members to adhere to regular schedules.

With the agreement, flights operated by regional carrier Jazz will return to normal on Sept. 22 after some trips were canceled for tomorrow to minimize disruptions from a possible strike, Air Canada said in a statement.

The union isn’t discussing details until after the contract has been ratified by members, President Jeff Taylor said in the CUPE statement.

Air Canada and labor leaders had been in “intense” talks in recent days and discussions fell apart late yesterday after an airline representative “insulted” a federal mediator and the union by denigrating their efforts, CUPE said in an earlier statement. Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesman for Air Canada, declined to comment on the union’s assertion.

Passengers affected by the regional cancellations can rebook or request a refund, the carrier said.

Flight attendants rejected a tentative agreement in August with 88 percent of the vote, and they later voted in favor of a strike mandate by 98 percent.

--Editors: Ed Dufner, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Mary Jane Credeur in Atlanta at mcredeur@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net.


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