On the same day their collective agreement expires, Air Canada pilots will protest at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Sept. 29 to demand improved compensation and working conditions.
After their American colleagues at companies like American Airlines and Delta Air Lines scored significant gains in recent negotiations, Canadian pilots are pushing for more pay and better scheduling.
“As we watch Air Canada cut routes due to an industry-wide shortage of pilots, we encourage them to close the growing wage gap between Canada and the United States,” said Charlene Hudy, chair of the Air Canada Master Executive Council, in a statement on Tuesday.
The union says pilots will organize an “informational picket” at Pearson’s Terminal One with the backing of pilots from other airlines. The agreement soon to be expired guaranteed annual hikes of around 2 percent.
The decision to protest was made in the midst of widespread strike activity in North America, where workers from many industries are demanding higher pay and benefits in light of the competitive job market and persistently increasing inflation.
The ALPA, which represents more than 5,000 Air Canada pilots, has committed to close the pay disparity with American flight crews. Since U.S. carriers are paying more due to a labour shortage brought on by the epidemic, Canadian pilots are applying for positions across the border.
Air Canada pilots terminated their nine-year labour agreement signed in 2014 with the airline in an effort to renegotiate a better contract beginning this summer. Prior to the picket, the airline company stated Sept. 26 that its contract with ALPA’s terms is still in force.
“It is time to fix the #PilotPayShortage and get the #WorldClassContract Air Canada pilots deserve,” the post said.