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Air Canada seeks clarity with its employees in dispute

Oct. 26, 2011, Ottawa - Air Canada says it's withdrawing its proposal for a review of an arbitrator's ruling by the Federal Court of Canada.


October 26, 2011
By The Canadian Press

The airline says it will drop its planned review of arbitrator Kevin Burkett's ruling on pension provisions that affect airline members of the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The company says its decision follows a conversation between Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu and CAW boss Ken Lewenza.

The airline says there were valid legal arguments for a judicial review.

But Air Canada says it's more important that its employees, unions and other stakeholders have clarity on the airline's planned pension reforms.

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Air Canada has been trying to cut costs for years as it deals with mounting competition, rising fuel costs and an economic slowdown.

Like many companies, Air Canada has also been trying to reform its pension plans to make them less costly — a move its unions have fought bitterly.

Yesterday's decision could be welcome news for the airline's other unions, including pilots, mechanics and flight attendants, who consider the pension issue to be a key bargaining point.