Minister urges Air Canada, union to avoid strike

Union gives notice of strike to start March 12
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 03/07/2012

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's labour minister urged the nation's largest airline, Air Canada, to negotiate an agreement with its machinists' union and avoid a strike that it said would not be in the best interests of the country and its businesses.

"I encourage both parties to continue bargaining and reach a new collective agreement as soon as possible," Lisa Raitt said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "The government is concerned that a strike is possible and is taking this situation very seriously."

The statement did not say if the government would pass back-to-work legislation to prevent a strike but added: "Canadians gave our government a strong mandate to protect the economic recovery and create jobs."

Air Canada said on Tuesday a union representing mechanics, baggage handlers and cargo agents in Canada have given notice of a strike to start from March 12.

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