TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - The Air Canada Pilots Association today issued the following statement after receiving the award of the arbitrator imposed by federal legislation:
"Air Canada pilots are angry at the way they have been treated by the government and their employer. The results of this arbitration will only add to their disillusionment, creating a drag on Air Canada's future performance.
"Federally-imposed arbitration could not and did not bring about a negotiated collective agreement, which would lead to the energized and motivated professional pilot group Air Canada needs to succeed.
"Instead, arbitration has imposed work rules that will cost many pilots their jobs, demoralize the rest and kick other important issues years down the road, where they will fester and undermine any effort to achieve positive culture change at our airline.
"The government's political meddling in the labour market and heavy-handed legislation have utterly failed to achieve what only free collective bargaining can deliver: peace, stability and an engaged professional workforce. We will continue to challenge this unjust legislation in the courts and use every legal means to resist this arbitrary process.
"Air Canada's cynical ploy to lock out our pilots so they could be swept up in the federal government's legislation shattered all faith in the airline's corporate leadership. Their efforts to grind down Air Canada pilots as mere costs to be minimized, instead of valued professionals, will hurt the airline's performance for years to come.
"Customers will be surprised and disappointed to learn that in future, buying a ticket from Air Canada will not guarantee them a seat on an Air Canada flight operated by an Air Canada pilot.
"The safety and professionalism that passengers expect from Air Canada pilots have been put at risk by a corporate culture that refuses to recognize or value our contributions. The current corporate leadership clearly sees Air Canada as nothing more than a marketing logo and a vehicle for generating excessive compensation for a select group of executives.
"Canadians as a whole have not been well served by a process that trampled Charter rights, further degraded a formerly great Canadian company and will result in the loss of hundreds of good Canadian jobs. We think Canadians deserve much more from the people who are supposed to be leaders in government and in corporate boardrooms."
Captain Paul Strachan, President
Captain Jean-Marc Belanger, Chair
The Air Canada Pilots Association is the largest professional pilot group in Canada, representing the more than 3,000 pilots who fly Air Canada's fleet.