Air Canada pilots are set to picket today (Sept. 29) at Pearson’s Terminal 1 in a call for better wages and working conditions.
Both the airline and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents more than 5,000 Air Canada pilots, say the demonstration, taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., will not affect Air Canada’s flight schedule.
The pilots’ current collective agreement, which was reached nine years ago, also expires today.
“Air Canada pilots are united and dedicated to achieving the world-class contract our pilot group deserves,” Charlene Hudy, chair of the union’s Air Canada contingent, said in a statement.
“As we watch Air Canada cut routes due to an industry-wide shortage of pilots, we encourage them to close the growing wage gap between Canada and the United States. Air Canada has an opportunity to recognize the current market trends in the aviation sector and acknowledge the value and expertise our pilots bring to our company and passengers every day. Our pilots have invested in the airline; it’s time for them to invest in us.”
ALPA began the bargaining process for a new agreement in June, one day after fellow union members at WestJet ratified a new collective agreement.
As previously reported by PAX, today’s picket comes amid a labour shortage as more Canadian pilots accept better-paying positions at airlines in the U.S.
In the last six months, pilots at Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines negotiated agreements that included four-year pay hikes ranging from 34 to 40 per cent.