The pilots of Canadian Airlines today
applauded Air Canada CEO Robert Milton`s suggestion that the airline pay for
arbitration to resolve the seniority integration issues arising out of the
merger of the two airlines.
“We appreciate Mr. Milton`s offer, which underscores the importance of the
two pilot unions settling their seniority issues so that Air Canada may build
a superior air-service product out of its merger with Canadian Airlines,” said
Capt. Don Paxton, chairman of the Canadian pilots` branch of the Air Line
Pilots Association, International. “We are eager to proceed with the seniority
merger and we encourage the Air Canada Pilots Association to work with us to
select a mutually acceptable, independent arbitrator,” he said.
“Mr. Milton`s employee-hotline message reassured us that Air Canada
intends only to `foot the bill,` and not to `prejudge what the outcome would
be.` The airline`s understanding that the unions must bring about their own
resolution is clear,” Paxton said.
“Similarly, the pilots of Canadian Airlines clearly understand the
importance of moving forward on this issue expeditiously and decisively for
the benefit of our airline. As long as the pilot seniority issue is
unresolved, it is difficult to imagine how an operational merger can happen,”
“We have consistently taken the position that a seniority-integration
process culminating in third-party decision-making powers is essential to any
seniority integration. We`re confident that an independent arbitrator would
arrive at a fair resolution. Therefore, we urge the Air Canada Pilots
Association to join us in accepting Mr. Milton`s offer,” Paxton said.
“We want to put this matter behind us so we can redirect our focus where
it belongs: the daily challenge to provide superior customer service,
reliability and safety to our valued passengers.”
The Air Line Pilots Association, International, is the world`s oldest and
largest union of professional airline pilots. It represents more than 55,000
cockpit crew members flying for 50 airlines in North America. Visit ALPA`s
website at www.alpa.org.