Release #: PAL 22.01
January 07, 2022
ALPA Canada Calls on PAL Airlines to Bargain in Good Faith and for Canada’s Labour Minister to Respect the Bargaining Rights of PAL Airlines Pilots
St. John’s, N.L.—Tim Perry, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) Canada, issued the following statement today after contract talks broke down between PAL Airlines pilots and management. PAL Airlines is a subsidiary of the Exchange Income Corporation (EIC).
“After nearly two years of contract talks with the PAL Group of Companies executives and a conciliation filing, our negotiations have been unable to secure an industry-standard collective agreement for the PAL Airlines pilots. Our members are simply looking for a contract that includes provisions for fair compensation, job security, and scheduling and rest rules that at least match those of their industry colleagues across Canada. PAL Airlines management continues to assert that the pilots should be paid less than the rate of pay for pilots nationally.
“The conciliation filing in October 2021 began a three-month countdown for the PAL Airlines pilots to take labour action. Following a vote that would allow for the pilots to go on strike, the membership voted overwhelmingly with a 100 percent mandate in favour of labour action if management continued their stall tactics and refused to negotiate in good faith. We had hoped with the resumption of contract talks this week that management would finally come to the table to bargain faithfully. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
“While we are ready to take the necessary next steps, management is now using every tactic possible to stop us—including what we perceive to be political interference by forcing the St. John’s–based Federal Labour Minister to take sides, which in effect has stopped our pilots from using the provisions provided to them under the Canada Labour Code.
“This is especially heavy-handed given the pilots have already provided management with a list of essential flights they were willing to continue operating in the event of a strike. Being the Good Samaritans the PAL Airlines pilots are known to be throughout the province, the pilots even refused to accept compensation for such flying and instead wanted management to donate their earnings to charity.
“Once the minister interfered in this process, there was a negative shift in management’s approach to reaching an agreement with our pilots, when they can let the process drag out before the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, which could take years to resolve.
“We will now begin meeting with our pilots to ensure they understand how management behaved throughout the negotiations process and let them decide whether they have a future at PAL Airlines when we know there will be lots of opportunities for better paying jobs elsewhere in Canada.”
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 61,000 pilots at 38 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org