Tentative Agreement Ratified at Jazz Air

December 17, 2009, 12:16 PM EST

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CAW Local 2002 members at Jazz Air have voted 79 per cent in favour of a tentative agreement reached earlier this month with the regional air carrier.

The three and a half year agreement covers customer service and aircraft services employees and comes after talks with a federally-appointed mediator. CAW Local 2002 represents 950 customer service and aircraft service workers at Jazz. In November, an earlier agreement was rejected by the membership, as was an initial agreement back in August. 

"We thank the membership for their patience through-out the challenging process of negotiating and ratifying this collective agreement," said Shirley Anderson, Jazz Air service chairperson. "We heard clearly from our members that they wanted the week's vacation back that we all had to give up during the CCAA process as well, no-one wanted to be forced into a rigid work hours structure. I think we were able to accomplish both of these goals."

The agreement includes a cash/vacation bank which sets aside a percentage for each hour worked into a bank that can later be either taken as cash or vacation. It also includes a two per cent wage increase in each year of the agreement and changes to the part-time language which allow for a minimum guaranteed hours, to be voted on base by base.

"While the process was long and at times frustrating, it did afford us the opportunity to communicate directly with our members during the ratification process and a special leadership meeting," said Bob Orr, Assistant to CAW National President.

"That allowed us to ensure we bargained the right agreement. The committee worked extremely hard and had to deal with the pressure of bargaining under enormous scrutiny and external factors present in the airline sector. I'm pleased we were able to reach a deal that was approved by our members without a work stoppage and the hardship that creates."

In September, Jazz's technical service workers also ratified a three year agreement. CAW Local 2002 represents 900 workers in the technical services department. They voted 61 per cent in favour of the agreement.  

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