Execs and pilots of Air Canada’s regional partner Jazz are trading kudos over a newly-ratified labour agreement that was preceded by the pilots agreeing to strike and a threat by the Canadian government to ratify legislation to thwart any work stoppage launched by the pilots.
While management at Jazz celebrates an agreement that will provide “the stability we require to continue to grow and diversify our business”, and pilots say achievements in the agreement reflect improvements in pay, pension and lifestyle considerations, you can’t help but wonder if their efforts were influenced by threats from Labour Minister Lisa Raitt last month that she’d usher through the necessary legislation to block a strike.
I’ll let you decide if it is coincidence that after Raitt issued her directive the tentative agreement was finalised and ratified. Negotiations have been occuring for about a year, which in all fairness, is an impressively short period of time compared with some labour negotiations at US carriers. But leading up to the agreement there was a 60-day period of conciliation and a 21-day cooling off period.
With the myriad of intense airline labour negotiations occuring now in the US, it will be interesting to see if the government takes a page from Canada’s playbook.
And now Jazz management and pilots are enjoying aircraft being in the air rather than on the ground.