Air Canada and Unifor reach tentative deal for 4,100 customer service agents

MONTREAL – Air Canada (TSX: AC.A) and the union representing about 4,100 customer service and sales agents announced a tentative five year agreement on Sunday.

In a release issued Sunday, Unifor president Jerry Dias said the agreement included protections and fair wages for workers.

The airline released a statement saying the deal was a “win-win” for both sides.

Contract talks began in January but broke off in March. A Unifor spokesman confirmed the talks resumed last week.

Federal Labour Minister Kellie Leitch issued a statement congratulating the two parties on the deal, which was reached with the help of a federal mediator.

No details of the agreement were released.

Dias said in a statement that his members would over the next 10 days on whether to accept the deal. The airline’s board of directors must also give approval.

Air Canada has had a rocky relationship with many of its unionized workers in recent years _ the last round of bargaining was among the most acrimonious in the airline’s history.

Customer service agents and sales agents walked off the job for three days in June, 2011. During roughly the same period, the airline faced protracted negotiations with both flight attendants and pilots. In 2012 baggage handlers staged an illegal walkout before being forced back to work by a court order.