Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

March 12, 2012 17:08 ET

Government of Canada Introduces Legislation to Protect the Canadian Economy

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 12, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Canada's Labour Minister, tabled legislation to protect the Canadian economy and Canadian families. The legislation, titled An Act to provide for the continuation and resumption of air service operations, would prevent a work stoppage at Air Canada.

"Economic recovery remains our government's top priority and grounded flights translate into lost opportunities for Canadian businesses and frustration for stranded travellers," said Minister Raitt. "A work stoppage at Air Canada will take a toll on our fragile economy and that we simply can't afford."

The proposed legislation would also send the issues in Air Canada's labour disputes with the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) to binding arbitration.

A work stoppage at Air Canada could cost the Canadian economy millions of dollars for every week that it continues. Without a reasonable prospect for agreements in the near future, the Government of Canada is taking action to ensure continued air services.

"Our government is very disappointed that agreements have not been reached and that parties are considering work stoppages," said Minister Raitt. "Moving forward with legislation is always the last resort."

This legislation follows separate notices from Air Canada and the IAMAW that they intended to proceed with work stoppages on March 12, 2012. With the prospect of an imminent work stoppage, the Minister of Labour also referred a question, with respect to the application of subsection 87.4 (5) of the Canada Labour Code (maintenance of activities) at Air Canada, to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

The collective agreement between Air Canada and ACPA representing approximately 3 000 pilots, as well as the collective agreement between Air Canada and IAMAW representing approximately 8 200 technical, maintenance and operational support employees, both expired on March 31, 2011.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

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Contact Information

  • Ashley Kelahear
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Raitt
    819-953-5646

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    819-994-5559