Thursday, May 26, 2011

NO to Air Canada's demand for cuts to workers' pensions

The CAW is currently involved in a tough round of negotiations with Air Canada, where we represent 3,800 customer service staff working in major airport terminals and call centres across the country.

A major roadblock in the talks has been Air Canada’s ongoing demand to destroy the pension plan –for current and future workers.

Let’s wind our memories back to 2003-2004 when the company was going through the CCAA restructuring process –workers gave up a lot just to keep the company afloat. In fact, Air Canada workers agreed to wage cuts and years of wage stagnation in exchange for maintaining the defined benefit pension plan.  Air Canada has conveniently chosen to ignore this important piece of its own history.

Now that the company has emerged from CCAA and returned to profitability, Air Canada is going after the pension plan –demanding what would amount to a 40% reduction in benefits for current workers and a lower-tier pension plan for new hires.

Meanwhile though, these same demands are not made of company executives - Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu received $4.6 million in compensation last year plus a $5 million retention bonus. He has also accrued a defined benefit pension worth a whopping $3.1 million! 

Air Canada workers have done enough and deserve a decent contract –it’s time to play fair.

Send Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu a message, demanding that he negotiates a fair and equitable deal for Air Canada workers.

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