Air Canada Pilots Association

Air Canada Pilots Association

September 28, 2009 10:23 ET

Air Canada Pilots Request Judicial Review of Tribunal Decision on Retirement Age

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire – Sept. 28, 2009) – The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) has applied to the Federal Court for judicial review of a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision which called into question the retirement age provision of the pilots' collective agreement with Air Canada.

"We believe the Tribunal erred at law by ignoring Supreme Court of Canada decisions which found it acceptable for employers and employees to determine a retirement age through the collective bargaining process," said Captain Brian Murray, Chair of ACPA's Age 60 Legal Support Committee.

"The contractual retirement age and associated post-employment benefits are cornerstones of our collective agreement, which has supported Air Canada pilots' careers for decades. The overwhelming majority of our members support this provision and we will use every legal means to protect their right to collectively bargain terms of retirement," Captain Murray said.

ACPA has asked the Federal Court to review that part of the August 28 CHRT decision which asserted that Section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) cannot be justified under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as a reasonable limit prescribed by law that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society. That section of the human rights law states that a practice is not discriminatory if an individual's employment is terminated because he or she has reached the normal age of retirement for employees working in similar positions.

As a result of this interpretation, the Tribunal refused to apply this section of the CHRA in considering a complaint regarding ACPA's collective agreement, which contains a contractual obligation for Air Canada pilots to retire at age 60.

If left unchallenged, the CHRA decision could potentially have an impact on the wages and benefits of the active pilot group and thousands of other federally-regulated employees currently working under collective agreements containing a fixed age of retirement.

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the more than 3,000 pilots who operate Air Canada's mainline fleet.

Contact Information

  • Air Canada Pilots Association
    Paul Howard
    Director of Communications
    905-678-9008 ext. 222