Cargojet pilots, who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), has filed an unfair labour practice complaint (ULP) with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).
The complaint, filed on Wednesday (Sept. 15), states that Cargojet management violated several sections of the Canada Labour Code by unreasonably terminating 23 probationary pilots while continuing to hire additional pilots.
The firings came just days after Cargojet pilots voted in favor of ALPA representation and elected to leave their former union
“Management’s deplorable decision to terminate these pilots is baseless and without justification. ALPA does not tolerate threats or retaliation from management. We believe in fair and equal representation, which is why an overwhelming majority of Cargojet pilots chose ALPA as their official bargaining agent,” said Tim Perry, ALPA Canada president, in a news release.
The ULP asserts that all 23 pilots who were terminated by the airline were active supporters of ALPA, and three were directly involved in ALPA’s organizing efforts, having served on the Organizing Committee.
The terminated pilots were fired just five days after the CIRB announced the results of the ALPA certification vote, and days before many of these pilots were scheduled to come off probation.
Many of these pilots had been previously been laid off by Air Canada prior to gaining employment with Cargojet and were told they would not be eligible for rehire with Cargojet.
ALPA is asking the CIRB for a declaration that Cargojet violated Canadian labour protection and to direct the company to cease and desist further violations, including any form of discipline for pilots who have demonstrated support for ALPA as the bargaining agent.
ALPA is also asking the CIRB to order the reinstatement of all 23 pilots with full compensation, properly post the Board’s findings in the workplace, and take any other relief the Board deems appropriate.