Union’s scope claim not supported by context

The employer and the union disagreed over whether a letter of commitment from the airline covered all types of aircraft. The arbitrator found that the language in the letter was specific and excluded some aircraft.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 05/01/2012

As part of its restructuring, an airline acquired a quantity of propeller aircraft to fly the “feeder” service routes operated by its regional subsidiary under a separate collective agreement.

When the airline awarded the flying of the new aircraft to the subsidiary and its pilots, the union grieved, arguing that a letter of commitment from the employer assigned the flying of the new aircraft to its members.

“Scope” provisions, which restricted both the types and sizes of aircraft and the routes available to the subsidiary and its pilots, were a feature of the collective agreement between the parties.