Sunwing Pilots File for Conciliation to Set Strike Deadline

December 20, 2012, 4:35 PM EST

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CAW Local 7378, representing Sunwing Airline's approximately 160 professional pilots based across Canada, is filing for conciliation and the establishment of a strike deadline after hitting an impasse in contract talks with the company. 

"After months of bargaining, the company's unwillingness to adequately address our pilot group's most pressing issues has forced us down this path," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.  "It's truly a shame that such a profitable company would choose to ignore reasonable requests of its highly skilled flight crews." 

"It's truly discouraging," said CAW Local 7378 President Captain Dave Matkovich. "The company refuses to move on issues of inefficient scheduling, crew fatigue, unproductive work hours and compensation.  We understand the need for our company to maintain its current pay structure and have only asked for a minimal wage increase," Matkovich said.

Major issues concerning the pilots at Sunwing Airlines are scheduling stability, greater productivity while away from home, and the length of continuous time on duty with respect to fatigue.

The Sunwing Travel Group announced earlier this year that it once again made the list in the Annual PROFIT 200 Ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies by PROFIT Magazine. Sunwing Travel Group, which employs over 1,700 employees, ranked at #94 in 2011, boasting a 521% growth. The Sunwing Travel Group has also been ranked on both the PROFIT 100 list and the PROFIT 200 list seven additional times, exhibiting the company's strength and continued growth throughout the years.

Sunwing's pilots have been bargaining since August.  The Sunwing pilot group's contract expired on November 30. They now await the appointment of a conciliation officer.

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