Friday, February 17, 2012

Six Month Mediation?

A friend of mine flies for Air Canada. He has been posting about the intense labor dispute between pilots and the airline this past week. Apparently, the airline will continue operating while a six month mediation ensues. Air Canada and its pilots' union agreed to submit to a an extended mediation process while they negotiate so there will be no disruptions in service. The positions of the parties have been characterized publicly as "really far apart." While acquiescing to a lengthy mediation, it does not mean either side is surrendering its right to give notice of a strike or lockout during the six months. But the sides state that prospect is highly unlikely in the short term as the mediation process gets underway. Typical issues of pay, pensions and a new low-cost carrier plan, will be discussed. Reportedly, Air Canada has dedicated about 60 staff and nearly 30 consultants and lawyers to devise a plan for a low-cost airline and is seeking a foreign airline as a minority partner. It just seems like an awful long time (without typical external pressures like losing the season such as in the recent sports league mediations) to get a deal struck. See article -