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Contract Arbitration Panel Set for Air Canada Dispute

Friday, May, 4, 2012

According to the Canadian government, a contract arbitration panel has been set for the long-running dispute between Air Canada and the unions for its pilots and machinists. Air Canada, that nation's top airline, has been losing significant profits between rising fuel costs and constant disputes with its employee's unions over the past year. The disputes with the pilot and machinist unions will be handled separately.

Canada Passes Law Preventing Strikes, Enforces Employment Arbitration


Earlier this year, Canada saved Air Canada from having to deal with strikes by the members of the Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) and members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). This law also prevents Air Canada from locking out the union members. Both the ACPA and the IAMAW are crying “foul” and accusing the law of being unconstitutional.


Additionally, the legislative branch sent these contract disputes to arbitration, and these hearings will be binding. Despite the dispute over the legitimacy of the no strike-no lockout law, both of the unions have agreed to enter the arbitration process.

Arbitration Attorneys Appointed by Labour Minister


In the contract arbitration between Air Canada and the ACPA, Canada's Labour Minister, Lisa Raitt, appointed Douglas Stanley to arbitrate the dispute. He was suggested for this role by both the airline and the union.


In the dispute between Air Canada and the IAMAW, Michel Picher was appointed. In this case, also, Mr. Picher was suggested by both Air Canada and the IAMAW. Both arbitration attorneys have a long and distinguished career in arbitration, and Ms. Raitt urges that all parties involved extend their full cooperation.