Air Canada faces possible summer strike

Travellers booked on Air Canada flights this summer should watch the news carefully next week. Flight attendants represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees are now voting on the company’s latest contract offer, and the prognosis doesn’t look too promising.

The 5,100 flight attendants want the same sort of deal that was signed by the airline’s pilots last year. After a 13 day strike last September, the pilots signed a contract that included a pay raise and new job security measures. On June 20, after four days of bargaining, negotiations between Air Canada and CUPE reached an impasse.

According to news reports, Air Canada broke off talks with CUPE after the union requested upgraded pensions. With that, CUPE agreed to put the airlines latest offer to a vote, while recommending that its members reject it. Voting should be finished by July 5. If the flight attendants vote against the offer, a strike could start as early as July 7.

Those who have flights booked on Air Canada after that date may want to start looking at alternative travel arrangements now. It’s likely that competing airlines will be even busier than usual, with even the threat of a strike. &l;/>