Air Canada’s layoff woes

By Asha Tomlinson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/01/2001

Companies should be careful what they bargain for in their collective agreement. Air Canada tried to get out of layoff provisions negotiated with the Canadian Auto Workers, but the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) recently cancelled this action.

Air Canada’s state of affairs has gone from bad to worse as a result of the Sept.11 attacks. The government has provided some aid, but made no mention of helping the airline with job reductions. With nowhere else to turn Pat Heinke, senior director of labour relations, said these are desperate times, and they have to let people go.

“This is not something that can be put on the backburner. We had concerns over the general downturn of the economy and then the 11th hit us and it just created a dramatic, absolutely dramatic environment that has to be reacted to fairly quickly, so in the context of that, we felt we had no option but to effect layoffs.”