Posted: Friday, 9 March 2012
The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Labour
I am writing, yet again, to protest the government’s ongoing interference in free collective bargaining at Air Canada, coincidentally on the heels of the company’s announcement yesterday to lock out its pilots at midnight on Sunday.
The ongoing interference in collective bargaining at Air Canada, a private company, continues to signal to business that this government is squarely on the side of the employer, and failing to remain neutral, and to respect free collective bargaining.
Minister, one must ask themselves how well managed is a company where the members of every single one of its bargaining units have voted for strike action or gone on strike in the last year? Clearly Air Canada management has so poisoned the bargaining relationship that employees simply were not, and are not, willing to sacrifice anymore. Your government’s actions in forcing employees to accept what they cannot freely negotiate and vote on could potentially cause irreparable harm to future labour relations between the workers and their unions with the company. Employees will have no ownership or duty of responsibility to what can only be characterized as collective agreement negotiated between the Government of Canada and Air Canada.
These decisions, while seemingly appealing for the government in the short-term, will have far-reaching long-term implications for a mature federal labour relations system that has withstood the test of time.
Kenneth V. Georgetti