Air Canada Jazz Wage Talks Over View

January 19, 2006


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Air Canada Air Canada Jazz Wage Talks Over View
Air Canada Jazz Wage Talks Over View
dated January 19, 2006


Toronto, Ontario
January 16, 2006

       Wage talks between Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz and its unions are scheduled to get underway later this year, as part of the court ordered re-opening of the wage and compensation section of the restructured contract half way through the contract signed in 2003. This is an opportunity for the workers to get a share of the hundreds of millions in profits Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz have made since restructuring, according to Canadian Auto Workers union economist, Jim Stanford.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       "It's not a normal round of bargaining. First of all we are limited on the type of issues that we can put on the table. Second of all, we don't have our full bargaining power because there is no right to strike here. But what we can do is make an argument with the company that they have to share in these gains as part of trying to build a new relationship, a more positive relationship with its other stakeholders including the unions. Secondly if we can't agree with Air Canada then the whole thing goes to arbitration at the end of the day. And we will present our respective cases to the arbitrator."

       The 6,500 CAW members at Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz had to renegotiate certain provisions of their contracts as part of Air Canada's restructuring in 2003 and 2004. Stanford said he is confident the union will get a voluntary negotiated settlement.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       "I think that we can put forward some very creditable, well based arguments to Air Canada that the company has fundamentally turned around its business. Many of the indicators that we have looked at, whether it is paying traffic, the load factor, productivity levels, incredible 20% increase in average labour productivity at Air Canada since the restructuring."

       In the restructuring in 2003 and again in 2004, the CAW members at Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz successfully resisted wage cuts, arguing that efficiencies and productivity gains were the answer to the airline's problems.

Jim Stanford
CAW Economist

       We've been proven right, incredibly in the last couple of years. Look at the load factor, that's the proportion of seats in the airplanes that are filled by paying customers. It's reached over 80% at Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz., all time record levels. Look at labour productivity, that's the measure of how many seat miles can be delivered for each full time equivalent worker in the workforce, up by 20% in two years. That shows that productivity and efficiency are the key to re-inventing this business, not wage cuts. They also give us an incredibly strong argument that Air Canada workers deserve and Air Canada Jazz workers deserve a wage increase to reflect the improvement in this business."

       The bargaining committee and elected leaders are now preparing for the wage re-opener talks to begin with the companies this spring.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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