Pilots Overwhelmingly Authorize
August 18, 2010 - The pilots of Air Transat, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), resoundingly support conducting a lawful strike if a collective agreement is not reached with their management.
In a recent strike
ballot issued by the union leadership to the pilot group, an
overwhelming 97 percent of pilots voted in favor of a lawful strike,
should it become necessary to conclude a fair collective agreement with
Air Transat management. The pilots have been in negotiations since
January of this year.
“If the pilots of
Air Transat choose to declare a strike, it will be conducted with the
extensive resources and the full backing of the nearly 53,000 pilots
“This vote serves
as notice to the company that our pilots are united and stand firm
behind our goal of achieving a fair and equitable contract,” said
Captain Sylvain Aubin, chairman of the Air Transat Master Executive
Council (MEC), the unit of ALPA that represents Air Transat pilots. Of
the pilots eligible to vote, more than 90 percent participated in the
balloting. “Our pilots are seeking a contract that recognizes their
contribution to the success of the airline that they have helped to
build,” Captain Aubin added.
In June, Air
Transat pilots received a $1 million grant from ALPA’s Major Contingency
Fund (MCF), which provides pilot groups with the resources needed for
responding when threats to their jobs and their profession are imminent.
“While Air Transat
pilots consider a strike a matter of last resort, this vote demonstrates
their steadfast unity in achieving their contract goals,” said Captain
John Prater, ALPA’s president. “If the pilots of Air Transat choose to
declare a strike, it will be conducted with the extensive resources and
the full backing of the nearly 53,000 pilots ALPA represents.”
On June 25,
Under the Canada
Labor Code, both the strike authorization vote and written notification
to the company are required steps before any withdrawal of services can
begin. At the end of conciliation, a mandatory 21-day waiting period
will go into effect, which concludes at midnight on October 1, at which
time Air Transat pilots will be in a legal position to strike.
After more than
six months of bargaining, substantial issues remain open, particularly
in the areas of job outsourcing, pilot fatigue mitigation, and
compensation, according to Aubin. The pilots continue to work under a
contract that has seen no adjustments to allowances to pension or
benefits, and adjustments to concessionary pay scales have fallen well
below the rate of inflation. Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s
largest pilot union, representing nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 airlines in
Air Transat A.T.
Inc. is a budget airline based in
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