Saturday, April 14, 2012

More disruptions hit Air Canada after illegal strike

A handful of Air Canada flights were cancelled or delayed Saturday after an illegal job action by pilots the day before caused travel chaos for thousands of people.

An airline spokesman said the cancellation of about 10 flights and at least 18 delays Saturday are the result of "planes being out of position" for start-up because of the illegal strike.

Peter Fitzpatrick said problems at Pearson International Airport and other airports were a "ripple effect" caused by the 75 flights cancelled Friday when at least 150 pilots called in sick.

Several flights were also cancelled at Montreal's airport Saturday and there were reported delays in Halifax.

Air Canada won an order Friday from the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) requiring the pilots to end work stoppages across the country.

The order declared certain pilots were engaged in an illegal strike and called on the Air Canada Pilots Association to take "all reasonable steps" to end the strike and get participating pilots back to work.

The union represents about 3,000 pilots and urged its members to report for work and ignore their colleagues involved in the job action.

Federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt blocked labour action from both sides in March, referring disputes between 8,600 pilots and ground crews to the CIRB.

Flights were also affected March 23 after a wildcat strike by ground crews across the country was sparked when several workers were suspended for making sarcastic gestures at Raitt when she walked through Pearson airport.

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