Air Canada customer agents serve strike notice

Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:00am EDT
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - The union representing customer service and ticket sales agents at Air Canada Inc on Friday gave the airline 72 hours notice of a strike after negotiators failed to agree on a new labor contract.

The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, which represents 3,800 employees at airports and call centers across Canada, said its members will walk off the job at 11:59 pm EDT on Monday unless an agreement can be reached before then.

"After 10 weeks of negotiations, there are still a number of important issues halting progress at the bargaining table, such as demands for dramatic cuts to the pension plan...," the CAW said in a statement.

Air Canada, the country's biggest carrier, said in a statement it continues to work toward a deal with the union but has a contingency plan to continue "operating a full schedule" and minimize disruptions for customers.

Air Canada is in labor talks with five of its unions, including its pilots, flight attendants and maintenance workers, after their contracts expired earlier this year.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant; Editing by Paul Simao)