Further to the announcement of a successful conclusion of amendments to Air Canada’s existing long-term labour agreement with its 3,500 pilots represented by the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), the airline provided additional information.
The amendments to the current ten-year agreement reached in October 2014 provide added commercial and operational flexibility as well as improved cost competitiveness while also providing attractive career growth opportunities and other advantages for its pilots.
The amendments support Air Canada’s strategic business plan for profitable growth network wide, for both mainline and Rouge in a proportionate manner based on overall growth. Specifically, the amendments provide Air Canada with the ability to expand the North American narrowbody fleet operated by Rouge according to an agreed-upon formula by Air Canada’s pilots that enables the airline to expand its presence in certain regional markets and to compete effectively with emerging North American Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCCs).
Also provided in the amendments are a number of improvements for Air Canada’s pilots, notably around terms to defined-contribution plans and sick leave, and greater transferability between Air Canada and Rouge.
“These amendments voted on and ratified by our pilots further emphasize our pilots’ alignment with Air Canada’s successful business strategy to compete effectively in the highly competitive airline industry, and make adjustments of mutual benefit as the competitive environment evolves,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “Their successful conclusion also underscores the transformative change in culture that is on-gong at Air Canada and building the airline into a Global Champion.”
These amendments are the result of provisions for periodic re-openers that were made when the ten-year agreement was concluded in October 2014. Due to the long-term nature of the historic 10-year agreement, these prescribed reopeners allow for adjustments to ensure the agreement remains effective in supporting Air Canada’s strategic plan for profitable growth. That includes being able to make a limited number of adjustments to address market opportunities that may arise in the highly competitive airline industry.
The ten-year agreement in place provides for labour stability over the long term. In the event any issues raised in the limited number of items that may be subject to re-openers, they would be referred to a mediator, with no risk of strike or lock-out.