Labour Update

No Disruption of Service at Air Canada

March 8, 2012 – Canada’s Minister of Labour, the Hon. Lisa Raitt, has issued a referral pursuant to the Canada Labour Code, to determine the activities that Air Canada may be required to maintain as relates to the health and safety of Canadians.

As a result of this CIRB referral, the IAMAW cannot commence a strike and Air Canada cannot lock out its pilots at least until this matter has been determined by the Board. The strike deadline by the IAMAW and Air Canada’s lockout notice to ACPA, both originally scheduled for 00:01 am ET on Monday March 12, 2012, have therefore no effect.

There will therefore be no disruption of service and Air Canada’s full schedule remains unchanged.

We thank our customers for their patience and loyalty during this time.  Customers should continue to book with confidence.

Air Canada encourages customers to visit for flight information and self service booking tools to avoid longer call centre wait times due to a higher volume of calls than usual.

Air Canada will continue to provide updates as developments warrant.

The IAMAW represents Air Canada’s 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents.  ACPA represents the airline’s 3,000 pilots


Air Canada Receives Strike Notice from the IAMAW to Take Effect March 12

March 8, 2012 – Air Canada has been advised by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), representing the airline’s approximately 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents in Canada, that it intends to begin labour action starting at 12:01 A.M. ET on Monday March 12, 2012.

"We recognize that the IAMAW’s notice of strike action in the midst of the peak March Break travel period will cause uncertainty for thousands of our customers. The lines of communication remain open and we are hopeful that there remains sufficient time to avoid a work disruption,” said Duncan Dee, Air Canada's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  "We regret the uncertainty for our customers and we thank them for their patience and understanding.  This threatened job action follows the disappointing rejection of the unanimously recommended tentative agreement signed by the IAMAW bargaining committee following the federal mediation before the Honourable Madam Justice Louise Otis.”

Should a settlement not be reached and the IAMAW commences job action, the airline will endeavour to minimize inconvenience to its customers.

In the meantime, Air Canada continues to operate its normal schedule without disruption.

However, due to the expected high volume of calls at our call centres, wait times will be long. To avoid waiting, Air Canada strongly recommends customers consult its website,, which will continue to be updated with the latest information for customers.  In addition, offers self-service tools that can be used for making bookings, checking-in for flights and rebooking flights in case a flight is delayed or cancelled for reasons such as bad weather.

The airline will provide further updates as developments warrant.

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