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Air Canada’s biggest union poised to strike

March 7, 2012 – Air Canada's biggest union says it's threatening to strike because its members are hopping mad about the airline's latest contract proposal.


March 7, 2012
By Canadian Press

Union vice-president Dave Ritchie says the machinists, cargo
agents and baggage handlers are angry that Air Canada
hasn't addressed their pension concerns, especially after they
agreed to millions of dollars in cost cutting to help the airline
restructure.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
has served notice that its 8,600 members will walk off the job if
they don't get a new deal by 12:01 a.m ET on Mar. 12.

Ritchie told a news conference that the negotiating committee
underestimated the anger of its membership, who rejected a tentative
deal by a 66 per cent margin.

He says he hopes Labour Minister Lisa Raitt will allow the
parties to negotiate an acceptable agreement.

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Raitt, who has moved swiftly to end the threat of strikes at the
airline in the past, says she is concerned about a potential strike
during the busy March Break season, which could disrupt the travel
plans of thousands and have a big negative impact on the economy.