Release #: 22.04
February 09, 2022

ALPA Canada Congratulates PAL Airlines Ground Crews and Service Agents for Collective Agreement with Company

St. John’s, N.L.—ALPA Canada, a division of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), congratulates the Teamsters Union Local 855, representing the St. John’s–based cargo agents and ramp attendants, for reaching a collective agreement with PAL Airlines.

“We are happy for our brothers and sisters of Local 855. However, after more than two years of contract talks with the PAL Group of Companies executives and filing for conciliation, our own negotiations have not led to achieving an industry-standard collective agreement for the PAL Airlines pilots,” said ALPA Canada President Tim Perry. “PAL Airlines management continues to assert that their pilots should be paid less than the rate of pay for pilots across the rest of Canada solely because the majority of those pilots are based in St. John’s, N.L.”

PAL pilots began negotiations with management in January 2020. While continuing to help the airline earn a profit, pilots are working under extreme duress, operating understaffed without contractual job protections, and dealing with increased health risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of PAL executives’ questionable bargaining practices, the pilots filed for conciliation in October 2021, kicking off a three-month countdown for the PAL Airlines pilots to take labour action.

“Following a vote that would allow the pilots to go on strike, the members voted overwhelmingly with a 100 percent mandate in favour of labour action, if management still refused to negotiate in good faith,” said Perry. “Unfortunately, the PAL Group’s executives keep stalling and blocking efforts to reach a fair contract, even resorting to underhanded tricks.”

When mediation talks failed, management enlisted the St. John’s–based Federal Labour Minister to refer the file to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board, effectively stopping PAL pilots from using the provisions provided to them under the Canada Labour Code. This action completely changed the negotiating dynamic, bringing negotiations to a halt, thereby perpetuating the difficult working environment PAL Airlines’ pilots continue to endure.

PAL pilots are one of five labour groups at the company to unionize and seek contractual agreements with PAL management.

“PAL Airlines pilots are committed to attaining an industry-standard collective agreement that provides fair pay, job security, sensible scheduling rules that emphasize the rest necessary for pilots to continue operating safely, and workplace safety programs that advance the airline’s overall safety,” stressed Perry, while concluding, “The more than 6,000 airline pilots of ALPA Canada want to congratulate our colleagues for securing their future through representation under Local 855.”

PAL Airlines employs more than 160 pilots, represented by ALPA since June 19, 2019.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 62,000 pilots at 38 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.


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