CAW Calls for ACE Windup to be Blocked

February 13, 2009, 4:20 PM EST

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The CAW, with other unions representing workers at Air Canada, are calling for a stop to the dissolution of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., in light of Air Canada's disastrous financial results for 2008, released today.

"It appears that Air Canada is going to face significant challenges with the recession, and this is only being worsened by the irresponsible actions of ACE management," said CAW Local 2002 President Leslie Dias.  "ACE has focused entirely on quick one-time payouts to financiers rather than building up a viable airline."

Since the formation of ACE in 2004 with the re-emergence of Air Canada from bankruptcy protection, key portions of Air Canada have been hived off and sold, generating billions for shareholders.

"The most infuriating thing about this situation is that the rise in Air Canada's debt was completely unnecessary and was the direct result of poor management decisions," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. ACE Aviation Holdings possesses ample cash and other value which must be reinvested into its core asset, Air Canada, he said. 

ACE currently owns 75 per cent of Air Canada shares.

ACE intends to seek shareholder approval for a company windup at a special meeting to be held on April 7, 2009. The CAW, along with other unions at Air Canada, is challenging ACE's dissolution plan before the federal pension commission. The unions will also consider other steps, as well, to try to force ACE to live up to its obligations.

"ACE cannot be allowed to walk away from its obligation to customers, employees, and pensioners," said Dias. "It has to reinvest those resources in Air Canada to ensure that the real business remains viable and successful."

CAW Local 2002 represents approximately 5,000 Air Canada workers across the country.

For the CAW's analysis of Air Canada's 2008 financial results, please click here.

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