CANSA prepares for end of cooling off period

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The Canadian Air Navigation Specialists Association (CANSA) at Unifor Local 1016 is preparing for the end of the 21-day cooling off period – during which no strike or lockout can take place – with employer NAV Canada on May 3, 2024, just before midnight.

“The support and solidarity our members have shown over the last 300 days they have been without a contract speaks volumes which cannot be ignored by NAV Canada,” said James Walker, President of CANSA and Unifor Local 1016.

“We will continue to fight tooth-and-nail for our members and the bargaining committee will bring back a legitimate offer when we receive one from the company.”

Unifor has been open to negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement with NAV Canada both during the conciliation period that ended on April 12, 2024, and during the cooling off period, however, the company has not reached out to the union and the bargaining committee has not had any meaningful discussions or any type of a legitimate offer.

As the cooling off period is about to expire, the union would normally be in a strike position after issuing a 72-hour strike notice. However, there are several provisions in the Canada Labour Code, which must be satisfied before that can happen. 

Both sides must complete the Maintenance of Activities Agreement. Unifor previously informed its CANSA members that it required the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to intervene after Nav Canada threatened the union with the use of scab labour to replace the members in the event of job action.

There has not been any significant improvement of the NAV Canada offer since mid-March, the same month when members overwhelmingly supported a strike vote.

Strike action is the last resort, and the union takes this mandate very seriously.

Unifor’s legal department is making submissions to the CIRB, and the union is asking the board to uphold our members’ rights to free collective bargaining and to be able to use all aspects, including the right to withhold labour, to achieve a fair collective agreement.

Until such time that we have a decision from the CIRB, the union will not be in strike position, but thanks the members for remaining steady and strong in their resolve.

The local represents members in Air Traffic Control Training, Operational Support, Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), Flight Data Analytics and Aeronautical Information Management at NAV Canada locations from coast-to-coast. 

The CANSA bargaining team will update members with any new developments. 

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Media Contact

Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative