CAW Air Canada Leadership Willing to Negotiate But Preparing to Strike

August 22, 2008

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Bob Orr
Assistant to CAW Secretary-Treasurer

       "Their cuts are way too deep. Customer service is going to suffer and it is just going to be awful. And that is not going to help at all with dealing with the public. Your workday, the workers' workday, is just going to be incredibly hectic. It is going to be stressful and that's not going to help. So the first thing that we did was to try and impress upon them that they should lower the numbers."
       In May of 2009 contracts between Air Canada and its various unions expire. Leslie Dias, president of CAW Local 2002 representing the customer service and call centre workers at Air Canada and Aeroplan said the company is mistaken when they say they know better than the union what the workers want.

Leslie Dias
CAW Local 2002 President

       "People are frustrated and they are mad, and they are just simply not prepared to take it anymore. Our members haven't gotten any increase at all in eight years. Its time. They are tired. They have done enough. They are working extremely hard. They are being pushed to the wall and they expect to be compensated appropriately for that."
       Orr told the Local 2002 leadership the union also tried to work out a means of dealing with the separation of Aeroplan division and the status of the CAW members employed there.

Bob Orr
Assistant to CAW Secretary-Treasurer

       "We wanted to let you know that the mitigation is not resolved. The Aeroplan is not resolved. It is very frustrating. The mitigation issue needs to get addressed. We have told them that. We have been quite clear with that and we are going to keep at it."
       The leadership voiced the anger of their members from coast to coast and their determination to fight back.

Christa Chaplain
Bargaining Rep. Atlantic Region

       "We want to get the best deal possible for our members but at the end of the day we're ready to fight. We're not going to back away from them.
       We signed up as Air Canada members. We still want the passes, the portability, the pay and the pension. We didn't sign on as Aeroplan employees."

       The bargaining committee will continue it efforts with the airline, but in the meantime the union is preparing for a fight in 2009.

Bob Orr
Assistant to CAW Secretary-Treasurer

       "Well we're going to stay at it. We're going to continue to tell Air Canada there is value in getting a deal. But we are going to prepare for '09 and we are going to prepare to shut the industry down and our members are behind us 100 per cent."

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."

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