Key Points In The November 1/99 Agreement Between Onex And CAW-Canada
While investors battle for the best deal for shareholders and
executives, the CAW-Canada has demanded that the two investor
groups recognize our members rights. On behalf of our
members, CAW-Canada president, Buzz Hargrove, called on the
investors of both Air Canada and Onex to negotiate a job
security agreement as part of the restructuring of the
airline industry. At recent meetings of the CAW union
leadership of Locals 2213 and 1990 with Air Canada and Onex
executives, the union spelled out the concerns of the
membership no forced layoffs, no forced relocations,
separate seniority lists, equality of wages, protection of
seniority rights, and no transfer of CAW members work
to the U.S. or offshore. The CAW confirmed these concerns in
newspaper ads aimed at the federal government as well as
investors in major papers across the country the weekend of
October 30, 31.
The CAW position was clear: regardless of who ended up owning the new Air Canada, CAW members rights must be guaranteed in writing.
On November 1, 1999, after several days of intensive negotiations including throughout this past weekend, the CAW-Canada national president Buzz Hargrove and Gerald Schwartz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Onex, signed a Restructuring Agreement that meets the concerns raised by our union on behalf of our members with both investor groups.
The Air Canada investment group, without bargaining with our union and only after being informed by CAW president Buzz Hargrove of the agreement reached with the Onex investors, then offered a letter Monday, November 1. The letter contained vague terms, no commitment to enhanced retirement benefits and retained a four-tier wage system for workers under one company. Air Canadas demand that CAW members give up our collective bargaining rights for 6 years would have been unacceptable in good times and is clearly not acceptable in an industry going through major restructuring. As well, Air Canadas restructuring proposal continues to include, in spite of strong opposition from all unions, a no frills, low cost airline operating out of Hamilton. All unions have expressed concern about the downward pressure of a 25-35 per cent lower wage cost carrier on standards for all workers in the new company.
The Agreement with Onex was negotiated to ensure job security for CAW members in the event that Onex is successful in its bid to merge the two carriers. Even more important we have established through our bargaining a minimum standard that must be met by whichever investment group ends up owning the new airline.
Were calling on our members to demand that the Air Canada investment group meet the same minimum standards if they are the successful bidders.
During the restructuring period until March 31, 2002 when the current Air Canada Collective Agreement expires, and when your union will be back in bargaining on your behalf, the following provisions will apply:
* The CAW has bargained a commitment in writing that no CAW members work will be moved to the U.S. or off-shore and Onex will repatriate airline jobs that have moved to the U.S.
Retirement Incentives and Severance Packages
Here is a summary of the options.