Airline pension result delayed

Existing plan continued; new hires’ plan in the air
By Gordon Sova
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/11/2011

An interest arbitrator may eventually decide the kind of pension in which new employees at Air Canada will be enrolled.

The future of the airline’s defined-benefit pension plan, which has been underfunded for years and a stumbling block at negotiations for as long, was a central contributor to the short walk-out by Canadian Auto Workers members in June. Legislation was introduced in Parliament to end that strike, but an agreement was reached before it could be passed.

With the exception of early retirement benefits, the plan for current employees will remain unchanged. The plan for new employees remains a subject of negotiation and in the very likely event that Air Canada and the CAW cannot come to an agreement, an arbitrator will decide.