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Air Canada pilots vote for strike mandate

President says no desire to strike yet
Reported by Joel Gasson
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Last week Air Canada pilots voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike vote, but you shouldn't have to worry about cancelling vacation plans yet.

Captain Paul Strachan is the president of the Air Canada Pilots Association and he said there is no desire to strike right now. The vote was meant to protect union members from Air Canada imposing change.

“The strike vote that you saw us conduct was entirely a defensive measure to give us the protections of the labour code should Air Canada take unilateral actions against us,” Strachan explained.

Union members are concerned about the airline going another direction by looking at out-sourcing jobs by hiring non-Canadian pilots.

“First and foremost this is about protecting good Canadian jobs, keeping the Canada in Air Canada,” he said.

Strachan also noted that after having a 20 to 30 per cent pay cut years ago. He said the pilots haven’t had a bargain settlement in more than 12 years and a pay raise wouldn’t hurt.

He understands the need for the airline to become more agile financially. But he said two pilots on a plane only cost about the price of a beer per person on board.

Edited by News Talk Radio’s Adriana Christianson