October 12, 2011 / 7:18 PM / in 6 years

Air Canada, union must maintain operations: minister

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s government asked the labor relations board on Wednesday to consider either imposing an agreement on Air Canada and its union or sending the parties to binding arbitration to resolve their contract dispute.

<p>Canada's Labour Minister Lisa Raitt speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 19, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>

Labor Minister Lisa Raitt also said in a statement that the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) may issue binding orders requiring the company and its employees to maintain normal operations.

“As a negotiated agreement is unlikely in the near future and the collective bargaining process has broken down, the Minister of Labour has asked the CIRB to consider either imposing an agreement upon the parties or sending Air Canada and CUPE to binding arbitration,” Raitt’s office said in a statement.

“Both the union and the employer must continue their normal work activities until the matter of maintenance of activities has been decided upon by the CIRB.”

Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson

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