Air Canada machinists' union reach tentative deal with airline

Agreement reached day after pilots announce strike vote to take place
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 02/13/2012

The union representing technical maintenance and operation support workers at Air Canada said it reached a tentative contract agreement with the country's largest airline on Feb. 10.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) said the proposed four-year agreement provides wage increases, improved benefits and secures a defined benefit pension fund for members, but did not specify the increases.

"This agreement represents a huge amount of hard work by our bargaining team under extremely trying circumstances," said IAMAW District Lodge 140 president and general chairperson Chuck Atkinson. "Now it's up to the membership, they will make the final decision to either accept or reject the tentative agreement at upcoming ratification meetings."

The contract covers approximately 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents at Air Canada. Bargaining for members in Air Canada's finance and clerical divisions have yet to be completed, the union said.

The tentative deal comes a day after Air Canada pilots said they would hold a strike vote after talks with a government-appointed conciliator and management failed to produce results. After a cooling-off period ends Feb. 14, the pilots can walk off the job after giving the airline 72 hours notice.

— with files from Reuters

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