Air Canada flight attendants reject tentative pact

Strike vote to take place in Sept.
||Last Updated: 08/28/2011

Air Canada flightattendants have rejected a tentative contract that unionbargainers negotiated with the country's largest air carrier,and the union has scheduled a strike vote for next month.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents6,800 Air Canada flight attendants, said on Saturday thatmembers voted overwhelmingly against the deal.

The airline and union negotiators reached the tentativepact on compensation and benefits on Aug. 1. The previouscontract expired on March 31.

After the deal was announced, the airline said it would notreveal any details about the contract until after it wasratified.

Turnout was heavy during the 10 days of voting, the unionsaid, with nearly 79 percent of membership participating.

"The results send a strong message to the company," JeffTaylor, president of the Air Canada unit of CUPE, said in astatement.

"We negotiated the best deal we felt we could in thecurrent political context. But it wasn't enough and we willtake that message back to the employer in the strongestpossible way."

Taylor said the union would meet with the carrier as soonas possible to resume negotiations.

Air Canada, which competes in the Canadian market withWestJet Airlines and closely held Porter Airlines,said the rejection would have no effect on service.

"Air Canada confirms it's business as usual for theairline," it said in a statement.

The union said it would meet with members over the comingdays, and that a strike vote will take place between September4 and September 13.

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