Sunwing, CAW strike deal for pilots

3-year contract includes wage gains, maternity benefits

Sunwing Airlines pilots represented by the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) have ratified a new collective agreement — their first with the airline.

The 155 pilots represented by the union ratified the collective agreement by a margin of 78 per cent, according to the CAW. It said the new deal includes wage and pension increases, plus a commitment by Sunwing to recognize fatigue in pilots’ schedules.

The agreement also includes a number of new jobs, the CAW said.

Under the agreement, there will be wage increases of up to two per cent per year over the term of the three-year contract, retroactive to Dec. 1, 2012.

Other gains include improvements to the scheduling system, increase in annual sick days, maternity benefits and new work sharing programs to reduce the number of layoffs in slow periods, the CAW said.

Sunwing pilots joined CAW Local 7378 in January 2012. The CAW represents 11,600 members in the air transportation sector including pilots of Morningstar Air Express, PropAir, Sunwing Airlines, and CargoJet.

Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt congratulated both sides on the signing of the agreement.

"I am pleased that Sunwing and the CAW have reached a new agreement," said Raitt. "I applaud both parties for maintaining strong labour-management relations."

The agreement was reached with assistance from the Labour Program's Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service which provides dispute resolution and prevention assistance to trade unions and employers under the Canada Labour Code.

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