I’m beginning to think this might be a pattern. Same company, same rhetoric, same lies.
Air Canada was happy. The union was not. But then, this is Lisa Raitt’s shop, we could have predicted that, right? So here is my understanding – as an outsider – of what was at stake.
When I first saw reference to this on Twitter I thought maybe it was some sort of hyperbole. Or that some progressive soul, like myself, prone to Swiftian rhetoric, had done the whole reductio ad absurdium thing to normal Tory talking points. But no. Labour minister Lisa Raitt actually said the definition of “essential” – as in the kind of worker who should not be allowed to withdraw their labour as part of bargaining new wages and working conditions – should be redefined to include any worker whose absence would affect the economy.
It would be funny if I didn’t think that the livelihoods of 6,000 or so people hung in the balance. But Air Canada has charged the union with bad faith bargaining because the membership refused to accept the second tentative agreement CUPE negotiators reached with management.
Journalism can be so maddeningly vague at times. This business of the federal labour relations board “reviewing” the negotiations at Air Canada and therefore rendering any strike illegal is just one of those times.
Wow. This does not happen a lot. Air Canada flight attendants – CUPE members – have voted down not one but two tentative agreements that the union’s leadership was recommending.
I don’t know what’s in the deal reached today between CUPE’s Air Canada Component and the company. I’m guessing, since Lisa Raitt said the union would not be allowed to exercise its legal right to strike, that it will not herald a new era of progress and prosperity for flight attendants.