OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – ‘Let’s make a deal.’ That’s the message the federal government has for Air Canada and its flight attendants. The pressure is coming as attendants are just days away from a possible strike.
On Tuesday, their union voted overwhelmingly in favor of job action, and close to 7,000 employees at the airline could walk off the job as early as Wednesday. The consequences of such a strike would cause a lot of headaches across the country, and not just for stranded passengers.
“Quite frankly, the ramifications on the economy can be quite dire,” explains federal labour minister Lisa Raitt. “Having your largest carrier with the predominant market share not being able to fly is a great concern for us.”
She’s not calling for back-to-work legislation at this point, but isn’t denying it as an option. “I don’t want the parties to take their eye off their responsibilities of getting their own deal. The best deal you’re going to have is the one you do yourself.”
Raitt tells us government officials have been working with both sides. “If they don’t come to an agreement by themselves on the weekend, I intend to see them the beginning of next week.”