Voices: Flight delayed

The feds block a strike by Air Canada workers, raising questions in the process.

(Photo: Air Canada)

“The federal government is moving to prevent a strike…by Air Canada flight attendants by sending the matter to the Canada Industrial Relations Board for review….‘While the matter is before the CIRB, there cannot be a work stoppage,’ [Labour Minister Lisa] Raitt said.”
Ross Marowits
Winnipeg Free Press

“What it’s meant to do is…just to make sure that the work stoppage is not going to affect the health and safety of the public….It’s appropriate for the government to take a look at the national economy…and the greater public interest.”
Lisa Raitt
on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics with Evan Solomon

“If Air Canada workers are so important that strike could damage health of Canada, then they deserve good pay + decent pensions.”
Michael Shapcott
@michaelshapcott, via Twitter

“Stewardesses, stop complaining about how hard your jobs are and how you need more money. You knew what you were getting into when you signed up….Listen, you get paid to travel the world. Cry my [sic] a river. You have no idea how lucky you are that I’m not your boss, because I would fire you all, take apart your union, and re-hire people who would work for half your wages. How hard can it be to find someone willing to fluff pillows at 30,000 ft?”
Andrew Speller
Blog at

“Almost everybody in the labour law business—whether they are on the union or management side of things—views this recent run of events as highly unusual. There [are] clear rules of how collective bargaining is supposed to go, and there seems to be a wholesale departure from that.”
Brian Langille
University of Toronto labour law professor, via

“What’s most concerning is the pattern of government intervention. It includes meddling in the Canada Post labour unrest and Air Canada’s dispute with ticket agents, earlier this spring….The government’s action interferes in the free market. Collective bargaining is a necessary process in determining the terms of employment the labour market will bear.”
Editorial, the Calgary Herald

“The official Opposition will call on the ethics commissioner to investigate a possible conflict of interest…after a document released to the media indicated Air Canada’s CEO and executive vice-president Duncan Dee apparently upgraded Raitt’s flight from economy to business class—almost a $550 value—for free on Sept. 25….[Raitt’s] spokesman gave documents to QMI Agency indicating Raitt…used [her] own points for the upgrade.”
Elizabeth Hames
QMI Agency

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