The following Opinion piece appeared in the Globe and Mail Report on Business on July 17, 2019.
Corporate takeovers are never ideal for anyone – except maybe the business leaders behind the deals.
For the rest of us, from workers to the public, corporate takeovers are rarely the kind of thing we like to see.
Customers prefer choice, and more companies in the market gives them that choice.
For workers, corporate takeovers too often result in the hunt for so-called efficiencies, which all too often means job cuts and other cost-saving measures that affect workers.
There are times, however, when finding reason to support a corporate merger isn’t a matter of choice, but of necessity.
The current Air Canada $520-million purchase of Transat A.T. Inc., which includes Air Transat plus resort and hotel operations, is a case in point. I would prefer that both companies remain independent and strong. I have no doubt travellers and workers at both airlines feel much the same.
The problem is, that wouldn’t seem to reflect the reality of what we are facing today in the airline industry.
The rise of low-cost airlines, often using anti-worker practices, has put pressure on all airlines to cut costs and increase revenues wherever they can. For customers, this means, for example, less food during flights, having meals for sale and tougher restrictions on allowable luggage.
The tough market has also pushed many airlines to the brink, with passengers left stranded when an airline suddenly goes under. We’ve seen this recently with Wow, but it’s an old story that includes Canada 3000, CanJet and more. No one is served by that kind of instability.