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Georgetti tells Minister Raitt to stop interfering in Air Canada bargaining: CLC President sends letter of protest to Labour Minister

Posted: Friday, 9 March 2012

OTTAWA – The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has written to Labour Minister Lisa Raitt to protest against her meddling in collective bargaining at Air Canada.

“The ongoing interference in collective bargaining at Air Canada, a private company, continues to signal to business that this government is squarely on the side of of the employer, and failing to remain neutral and to respect free collective bargaining,” Georgetti wrote in a letter sent to the minister on March 9th.

Georgetti was referring to Raitt’s decision to intervene in labour negotiations between Air Canada and two groups of workers – pilots, as well as mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents. The minister interfered in the negotiations by sending both cases to the Canada Industrial Relations Board for review. This puts any legal strike or lockout on hold until the board issues a ruling. This is the fourth time in eight months that the minister has meddled in negotiations between Air Canada and its employees.

“Your government's actions in forcing employees to accept what they cannot freely negotiate and vote on could potentially cause irreparable harm to future labour relations between the workers and their unions with the company,” Georgetti said in his letter. “These decisions, while seemingly appealing for the government in the short-term, will have far-reaching long-term implications for a mature federal labour relations system that has withstood the test of time.”

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Georgetti’s letter is available on the CLC website at: www.canadianlabour.ca. Follow us on Twitter: @CanadianLabour

Contact: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications: 613-526-7431 or
Mobile: 613-878-6040 Email: dgruending@clc-ctc.ca