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Canada to prevent Air Canada flight attendants’ strike

Airline hopes to reach compromise with union today

The Canadian government is drafting back-to-work legislation that would force Air Canada employees to return to work if they choose to strike against the airline tomorrow.

Last night, Air Canada, the nation’s biggest airline, met with union members representing its 6,800 flight attendants in hopes of reaching an agreement on wage and pension issues. A strike is expected if the two groups do not reach an agreement tonight, and it would likely disrupt international flights.

Lisa Raitt, Canada’s labor minister, told the Wall Street Journal that back-to-work legislation is the best course of action to protect the Canadian economy, the public and airline workers. The government could introduce legislation by tomorrow, according to Reuters. The Canadian government enacted similar legislation this past June to put an end to a postal service labor dispute.

Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesperson, told the Wall Street Journal the airline is “close and committed to reaching a negotiated agreement, which is preferable to back-to-work legislation for all parties concerned. We’ve shown that we can achieve negotiated settlements and Parliament should be left to running the country.” 

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