The CAW Opens Negotiations with Air Canada

February 10, 2011, 2:58 PM EST

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The CAW will be opening contract talks with Air Canada on Friday, February 11 at an airport area hotel.

CAW President Ken Lewenza says that the union will be looking for a fair deal for its 3,800 members at Air Canada. "Our members wages have not even kept pace with half the rate of inflation since 2002," said Lewenza. "This is deplorable. We've taken hits in the areas of vacation and break times, while delivering tremendous productivity increases in an effort to keep the company afloat. What our members are looking for at the bargaining table is basic fairness -I think this demand is perfectly justified."

CAW Local 2002 represents Air Canada workers in customer service and sales in major airports and call centres.

Leslie Dias, CAW National Representative, rejected today's meagre equity offer by Air Canada that accompanied the company's fourth quarter financial results, stating that Air Canada workers need to see a real wage increase, not a few shares.

Dias also underlined that although the economic concerns of members remain paramount, workers are also looking for basic respect on the job. "Staffing levels have been cut to the bone, so our members are working longer and harder, but management refuses to acknowledge that these efforts are what keep the airline going." 

Tomorrow, CAW members across the country at Air Canada will be displaying stickers reading 'Countdown to a Fair Deal' in support of their bargaining committee.

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