The collective agreement provides for improvements in wages and social benefits, improved job security provisions and an improved flexible time bank. “We are very pleased that our employees in the U.S. have ratified a new 10-year collective agreement. This result underscores the direction of the IBT and our employees towards Air Canada`s successful business strategy to continue to grow a sustainably profitable global business,” said Craig Landry, Executive Vice President of Operations at Air Canada. I congratulate the bargaining committees and our colleagues on the conclusion of this excellent result, which provides our U.S. employees with long-term stability in this highly competitive and changing sector. Air Canada`s 6500 flight attendants and 700 at Air Canada Rouge, the company`s leisure business, are represented by the Union of Canadian Public Employees (CUPE). “This revolutionary agreement follows the pioneering 10-year agreement reached with our pilots last October and is the fifth collective agreement reached last year with unions representing our employees,” said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada. “With annual wage increases, unprecedented job security and many significant improvements in working conditions, Air Canada`s cabin crew have secured a better future both on the main route and at Rouge,” said Michel Cournoyer, President of CUPE`s Air Canada component. After years of work turbulence, Air Canada reached an unusual agreement with its cabin crew, who did not guarantee a lockout or strike for a decade, but the agreement was ratified only by the narrowest margins. The agreement follows a 10-year contract with Air Canada pilots last year and a five-year contract signed earlier this year by after-sales service employees represented by Unifor. Given that other airlines such as Lufthansa are regularly affected by operational disruptions due to work problems, Air Canada can say with certainty that there will be no strike or lockout of flight attendants. The baggage handlers and mechanics, represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, are in preliminary talks as their contract expires next March.
Smith said he understood why management wanted to enter into a long-term contract, but questioned its length.