CAW Reaches Tentative Deal with Jazz Customer Service Agents / Aircraft Services Unit; Bargaining Continues with Jazz Technical Services Unit

August 28, 2009, 2:17 PM EST

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After one week of around-the-clock contract talks the CAW has reached a tentative settlement for a new three-year collective agreement with Air Canada Jazz early this morning. The agreement covers 1100 customer service agents and airport services employees in over 50 bases across the country. The workers are represented by CAW Local 2002. 

"A lot of hard work went into this round of negotiations and we are pleased to have reached this tentative settlement in the most difficult of economic climates," said CAW National President Ken Lewenza.

This is the first freely negotiated collective agreement for the Jazz unit that did not involve any third-party intervention - a practice made common for contract negotiations in the airline sector since Air Canada's restructuring under CCAA.

"We are happy to announce this tentative agreement today," said CAW Local 2002/Jazz Bargaining Committee Chairperson Shirley Anderson. "It has been a long time coming."

"While the contract still falls short of reclaiming all that our members had given up during Air Canada's bankruptcy proceedings, we managed to negotiate a non-concessionary agreement with improvements to scheduling and other workplace gains," Anderson said.

In other CAW airline bargaining, Jazz technical services workers, who perform maintenance work among other tasks, continue to negotiate around-the-clock in an effort to reach a contract settlement. The 1000-member technical services unit is also represented by CAW Local 2002. 

John Murawesky, CAW Local 2002/Jazz Technical Services Bargaining Committee Chairperson said that while progress is being made there are still a number of outstanding issues that need to be resolved before a deal can be struck.

"The bargaining committee is working hard to reach a fair settlement with the company for our members and we are committed to continue negotiating until the deal is done," Murawesky said.

Local 2002 members are scheduled to vote on the customer service agent and airport services employees' tentative agreement at ratification meetings to be held in various locations over the next two weeks.

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