The agreement in principle reached on December 14 between Transat and the union representing its 2,100 flight attendants no longer holds. Union members rejected it by 98.1% during meetings held between December 20 and 23. The union still has a strike mandate.
“Air Transat flight attendants clearly told us that this agreement would not have succeeded in reducing the suffering and financial insecurity that they experience on a daily basis,” explained Dominic Levasseur, president of the component, in a press release. CUPE Air Transat.
“We are returning to the negotiating table without delay to reach an agreement that will meet their needs. We must also remember that they are the most efficient in the industry. »
A meeting between the union negotiating committee, which remains unchanged, and the employer is scheduled for this Wednesday.
When the agreement in principle was announced, Mr. Levasseur said he was convinced “that the agreement will meet the expectations of our members.”
“We reached an agreement negotiated in good faith, which met the interests of both parties,” said Julie Lamontagne, head of human resources, communications and corporate responsibility at Transat, in a press release on Tuesday. “This outcome disappoints us, because we were confident that the agreement in principle would be accepted by the majority of our flight attendants. We are returning to the negotiating table and our goal remains to find common ground as soon as possible. »
This agreement came at the end of a three-day blitz of negotiations, while the union had in its pocket an unlimited strike mandate adopted by 99.8%. He threatened to put it into effect starting this Wednesday, January 3. With the rejection of the agreement, the strike mandate remains valid until January 23, but no timetable has yet been set for triggering it.
For travelers, the rejection of the agreement revives the threat of a strike which could paralyze the carrier’s operations.
“There is currently no strike notice or lockout issued by either party; both wish to conclude a new agreement quickly,” Transat recalled. “At present, all Air Transat flights are maintained and terms and conditions apply. »
One of the main union demands concerns unpaid hours. The union estimates that a flight attendant works an average of 35 hours per month without pay, for example when a flight is canceled, or even just the time spent boarding and disembarking.
At the beginning of 2023, the union launched a campaign to encourage the federal government to change the regulations allowing carriers not to pay for these hours, without success.