As negotiations for a new contract continue, the pilots of Canada’s largest airliner staged a protest in Toronto to call for higher pay and benefits.
Following the fallout from COVID-19, North American airlines have struggled to find enough qualified pilots and crew members.
Although the country’s inflation rate was 4 point three percent in March, Air Canada pilots have received a 2 percent pay increase every year since 2014.
This summer, negotiations for new employment terms with the Montreal-based carrier’s 4,500 pilots, who are represented by the union Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), began.
They held a silent protest on Friday at Terminal 1 of the Toronto airport to raise awareness of their issues and to put pressure on the airline to reach a reasonable agreement.
A few coworkers have left for better pay in the US, according to Charlene Hudy, head of the Air Canada contingent, who deemed the wage gap across the border “unacceptable.”
The union used a clause to end the 10-year collective agreement one year early and begin talks on a new one in late May. The first step in negotiating a new contract was to deliver a bargaining notice to the company management two weeks later.
The Air Canada negotiations take place as the airline industry continues to struggle with a labor shortage and as low-cost carriers like Lynx Air and Flair Airlines present fierce domestic and international competition.