Air Canada E-190. Courtesy, AC

Air Canada (AC) and its 3,000 pilots said Thursday they will try again to reach a collective bargaining agreement that has so far been elusive.

AC and the Air Canada Pilots Assn. (ACPA) union representing the flight deck crew said in a joint statement they “have agreed to re-commence negotiations.” The return to the negotiating table comes after AC accused pilots of disrupting service by engaging in unauthorized sickouts.

The pilots, along with other AC workers, have been prevented from striking because of actions taken by Canadian labor minister Lisa Raitt (ATW Daily News, March 12). According to the AC/ACPA statement, “The parties have agreed to a 10-day negotiation period to begin following the appointment of an arbitrator by [Raitt] … Air Canada and ACPA will ask that the arbitrator facilitate the negotiations process.”

AC earlier this year reached a tentative agreement on a new labor pact with ACPA leaders, but rank-and-file union members voted down the deal in February and called for a strike, which Raitt disallowed.