Arbitrators named in Air Canada negotiations with pilots, machinists

Parties enter 10-day period to reach deal before heading to binding arbitration
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 05/02/2012

Arbitrators have been appointed to help reach new collective agreements between Air Canada and its pilots’ and machinists’ unions.

Douglas Stanley will oversee talks between the airline and the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), while Michel Picher will be assigned to the dispute between Air Canada and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), Labour Minister Lisa Raitt announced on May 2.

"The appointment of an arbitrator is a key step in resolving this labour dispute," Raitt said in a statement.

Both arbitrators were suggested by the airline and the respective unions. They have conducted past work with Air Canada, so they have familiarity with the airline.

Stanley is a labour lawyer and served as New Brunswick's deputy minister of labour. Picher has taught law at the University of Ottawa and served as vice-chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Both unions and Air Canada announced they would resume talks last month, but have been waiting for Raitt to appoint arbitrators. All parties now have 10 days to reach agree new contracts. If they’re unable to reach a deal, then any remaining contentious matters will be settled through final offer arbitration.

Air Canada’s 8,600 mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents — represented by the IAM — were stopped from going on strike in March when Raitt sent the matter to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). The referral to the CIRB also prevented Air Canada from locking out its 3,000 pilots — represented by the ACPA — in April.

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