Following a period of nine years without labor disputes, Air Canada’s pilots have chosen to exercise their option to terminate a 10-year agreement ahead of schedule. As a result, contract negotiations are slated to commence this summer, and the agreement will now conclude at the end of September. This development follows the recent signing of a four-year deal by WestJet pilots, which includes a substantial 24% salary raise, with a notable 15.5% increase for this year, retroactive to January 1st.
Earlier this month, the Air Canada pilots’ group, which recently joined the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the same union representing WestJet pilots, exercised their option to terminate the existing collective agreement. Under the current agreement signed in 2014, the approximately 4,500 members of Air Canada’s pilots’ union received a 2% annual salary increase. Air Canada acknowledged this decision, stating that the termination of the agreement after nine years is a testament to the productive relationship between the company and its pilots. The airline expressed its expectation for the upcoming negotiations to be conducted in a similar positive spirit.
The recent contract negotiation between WestJet and its pilots reached a critical stage, resulting in over 230 flight cancellations as the airline prepared for a potential pilot strike. This uncertainty also had a negative impact on forward bookings. In light of these events, industry experts speculated that Air Canada’s pilot union would closely monitor the situation.
The North American aviation market witnessed significant developments as Delta Air Lines’ cabin and flight crew successfully negotiated a new contract, securing a substantial 34% pay increase. Furthermore, American Airlines pilots authorized a strike earlier this month but reached a preliminary agreement before the strike took place.
ALPA stated that Air Canada pilots are eager to collaborate with the company to achieve a contract that addresses issues related to career progression, job security, and closes the widening wage gap between the United States and Canada, according to a statement given to CBC News