Air Canada has tentative deal with scheduler union
TORONTO (Reuters) - Air Canada said on Saturday it had reached a tentative deal with the union representing its 76 in-flight service crew schedulers, the second deal for Canada's largest airline's in two days.
Air Canada, which on Friday reached a tentative agreement with mechanics, baggage handlers and purchasing agents, said it would give no details of the agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union until union members had ratified the new terms.
The union said results of the vote were likely to be announced on Wednesday.
Air Canada, which competes on many routes with smaller, non-unionized carrier WestJet Airlines, still faces the threat of a pilots' strike, possibly as early as next week, although the Canadian government could also pass legislation forcing a quick return to work.
Air Canada's Pilots Association, reached a tentative agreement with Air Canada in March but the pilots rejected the deal, worried about two-tier pensions and the impact of a discount airline that Air Canada wants to create.
The pilots' union called a strike vote after talks with a government-appointed conciliator and management failed. Once a cooling-off period ends February 14, the pilots can strike after giving the airline 72 hours' notice. Air Canada can also lock out workers with the same notice.
Air Canada, which reported a bigger than expected quarterly loss on Thursday, said it was prepared to extend talks with the pilots beyond the February 14 deadline and it has told the union it will not impose a contract in the near term.
(Reporting By Janet Guttsman; Editing by Jackie Frank)
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