Lifestyle & Belief

Air Canada workers threaten to strike at midnight


Service agents at Air Canada, the country's largest air carrier, have threatened to go on strike at 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 13, if a deal with the airline isn't reached. Talks were continuing Monday, with proposed changes to workers' pensions the main sticking point.



Air Canada service agents have threatened to strike Monday night if a deal with the airline isn’t reached over key issues including changes to workers’ pensions.

A proposal to change pension plans for new employees is the main sticking point as Air Canada and the Canadian Auto Workers union continue bargaining in Toronto. The workers, including customer service and sales staff, served a 72-hour strike notice on Friday. A strike at Air Canada would take effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

Talks are continuing, and both the company and customer service and sales staff say they want to avoid a strike, but so far there has been no agreement, the Canadian Press reports.

Air Canada, the country’s largest air carrier, has vowed continue operating a full flight schedule in the event of a strike.

The airline is recommending that passengers get their boarding passes online, arrive early at the airport on Tuesday and avoid checking in bags if possible, the Toronto Globe and Mail reports.

Air Canada is planning to deploy managers to run check-in services if the workers strike, and long lineups would be expected.

“Should a strike occur, we have non-unionized staff trained and available to ensure a continued operation,” said a letter posted on Air Canada's website.

The CAW union represents about 3,200 airport customer service agents and 600 call center staff. In the event of a strike, some of the phone calls to Air Canada customer service lines will be rerouted to call centers in Florida and Europe, the Globe and Mail reports.

Air Canada, including its regional partners, operates more than 1,370 scheduled flights daily.