Through the daily
"Last May, Air Canada reached agreements with all of its unions which were intended to result in $1.1 billion in annual labour savings. Each union was given a specific dollar target, based on the needs of the new business plan. As we now know, unfortunately the savings were not fully realized and Air Canada was left with a $200 million gap. Deutsche Bank’s Standby Purchase Agreement required that this gap be filled.
After over two weeks of very difficult marathon negotiations, agreements were reached with ACPA, CUPE, the IAMAW and CALDA at Air Canada, and ALPA, the Teamsters and CALDA at Jazz. Unfortunately, despite intense negotiations over the past few days, earlier this afternoon Air Canada announced that it had reached an impasse with the CAW in negotiations and was unable to achieve the cost savings target needed from the leadership of the CAW.
While none of the details of the tentative agreements have been disclosed, there have been a lot of rumours over the past few days about what the Company has asked for and we felt it was important to outline the approach taken with each union.
As was the case last spring, the Company and each union have looked at a combination of productivity improvements (achieved through work rule changes, increased usage of part-time workers where applicable, technology, etc.) and monetary items (such as reductions in wages, allowances, premiums, etc.). To help mitigate the lay-offs, VSPs have also been offered to give the more senior workers the opportunity to make lifestyle changes. While each union had a different target and each found a different solution, the approach with all unions including the CAW remained the same. The only difference was in the makeup of the elements used to meet their specific targets.
The leadership of the CAW has been asked to find $45 million dollars in labor savings as their contribution to the $200 million goal. While we normally would not comment on what has been discussed, we believe it is important to set the record straight on two rumours about the Company’s proposals which are circulating. First, the wage reduction proposals are equitable with what was agreed to by the other unions, and come nowhere close to $10,000 per employee. In fact, the Company has put other proposals on the table that would minimize the wage cut required, as was done with the other bargaining units. Secondly, the Company did not table a proposal to outsource the Call Centres. The overall objective was the same as with other unions—how do we work together to find a solution to close the gap through a combination of productivity improvements, monetary items and job reductions.
Employees have also been querying the contribution of Air Canada’s non-unionized staff. In her letter of July 4, 2003 to all of the unions, Sue Welscheid, Vice President of People, outlined the salary and job reductions, and work rule changes that constituted the non-unionized employees’ share to the required cost reductions. The letter is posted on Aeronet and achorizons.ca
We will keep you updated as news develops."