Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 03, 2014 - 3:09 pm

Contract talks between First Air and its flight attendants fall apart

Union members say they've already agreed to a wage freeze, won't give more concessions

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
First Air's flight attendants, some of whom are pictured here after a 2013 training program, have filed for conciliation after contract talks broke down June 29. (FILE PHOTO)
First Air's flight attendants, some of whom are pictured here after a 2013 training program, have filed for conciliation after contract talks broke down June 29. (FILE PHOTO)

Contract talks broke down between First Air and its unionized flight attendants this week after 17 days at the bargaining table.

First Air’s 87 unionized flight attendants, members of Canadian Union of Public Employees, said negotiations stopped June 29 after First Air asked for more concessions.

The union has now filed for conciliation.

That came after flight attendants had already agreed to a wage freeze, CUPE said.

“We consulted our members in Yellowknife, Edmonton, Iqaluit and Ottawa, and they clearly said no to more concessions,” said Ken Smith, president of the First Air Component of CUPE, in a July 3 news release.

“For our members, agreeing in principle to the wage freeze that the employer requested when bargaining began in February was more than enough.”

First Air Flight attendants have been without a contract since April 2014. About a dozen items remained to be negotiated when talks broke off.

CUPE did not indicate when First Air and the union would sit down again with a conciliator.

First Air’s flight attendants are based out of Yellowknife, Edmonton, Iqaluit and Ottawa.

CUPE represents more than 10,000 flight attendants who work for Air Canada, Air Transat, Calm Air, Canadian North, Canjet, Cathay Pacific, First Air and Sunwing.

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