CAW Angered by Possible Back to Work Legislation for Air Canada Workers

June 14, 2011, 5:30 PM EST

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The CAW is responding with frustration and anger to the news that Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt plans to table back to work legislation for Air Canada workers, less than 24 hours since the strike began.  

"This action by the government is a clear interference with the right to free collective bargaining," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza. "The speed at which this legislation has been tabled points to a very real collusion by the Conservative federal government and Air Canada, to strip workers of their rights.

"Our members have entrusted us to reach a negotiated settlement on their behalf. After 10 weeks of negotiations, there is no reason that the two sides should not be able to come to a tentative agreement, other than the fact that the company is unwilling to do so. 

"This is a deplorable model for labour relations for this country; it sets a dangerous precedent when the government can get involved in the collective bargaining of workers employed by a privately-owned, for profit-company."

Lewenza said that he believes it is possible to reach an agreement with Air Canada in the next 48 hours before the legislation is introduced.

Picket lines will continue in all locations across the country.

The CAW has been on strike since 12:01 a.m. this morning.

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