Air Canada unions fight pension changes together

Airline’s flight attendants united with other unions in denying new pension plan
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/27/2011

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents almost 6,800 of the airline’s flight attendants, is in solidarity with opposing Air Canada’s proposal to implement a new defined-contribution pension plan.

The president of the Air Canada component of CUPE, Jeff Taylor, told attendees at the union’s Ontario convention that pension reform wasn’t supposed to be part of this round of bargaining, but that it has become an issue.

Air Canada is proposing that new hires become members of a defined-contribution pension plan, which means that retirement benefits would vary for each member based on the performance of their investments. The existing pension plan sees pilots paid at a guaranteed rate once they retire.

Taylor says that CUPE is open to looking at other options like making existing defined-benefit pension plan members work an additional five years to reach 30 years of service before retirement.

The other unions negotiating with Air Canada are the Air Canada Pilots Association, the Canadian Auto Workers and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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