Release #: PAG 20.01
June 15, 2020
ALPA Takes Legal Action Against Perimeter Airlines and Parent Company EIC
Unfair Labour Practice Complaint and Interim Order Accuses Management of Threatened Layoffs Unless Contracts Are Changed
WINNIPEG, Manitoba—In an effort to protect the labour rights of Canadian pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) filed a formal complaint on June 12 against Perimeter Aviation and its parent company, Exchange Income Corporation (EIC). The filing alleges that Perimeter and EIC have bargained in bad faith, proposing unreasonable demands and threatening to lay off almost half its pilots out of seniority order unless those demands are met. To remedy this extortion-like approach to labour-management relations, ALPA filed an unfair labour practice (ULP) complaint and an application for an interim order with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).
“We continue to see a steady drumbeat of bad business behavior from EIC and its companies and now we can add Perimeter Airlines to the list,” said ALPA Canada president Capt. Tim Perry, who heads ALPA’s Canadian chapter that represents Perimeter’s 122 pilots, as well as pilots from PAL Airlines, Air Borealis, and Bearskin. “Less than one month ago, we were forced to file another ULP against EIC’s PAL Aerospace division, where the management has threatened, intimidated, and lied to pilots wishing to join our union. Clearly, EIC puts profits over employee rights, which is especially troublesome in a time when their pilots are going above and beyond to transport passengers and cargo in the midst of a pandemic.”
Since ALPA was certified as the bargaining agent for the pilots of the newly combined unit in the summer of 2019, Perimeter and EIC have bargained in bad faith by threatening to lay off pilots unless unreasonable demands are met, ignoring fundamental provisions of the collective agreements, delaying and frustrating the bargaining processing, and otherwise demonstrating an intent to avoid achieving a first, unified collective agreement.
The ULP complaint and application for an interim order assert that Perimeter and EIC management violated numerous provisions of the Canada Labour Code by, among other things:
- At the Company’s request, the pilots and management agreed to mitigate potential pilot layoffs and other initiatives due to the spreading impact of COVID-19. This included a temporary agreement by ALPA to have pilots based in Thompson, Manitoba, to move to a new rotational schedule of seven days on, seven days off in addition to other mitigation concessions.
- After the Company laid off the seven most junior pilots, they then sought permanent changes to the collective agreement, some of which were unrelated to COVID-19 and under the threat of additional layoffs if the permanent changes were not agreed upon.
- On April 24, without any warning, the Company advised ALPA that it would be laying off an additional 70 pilots (40 from Perimeter and 30 from Bearskin, which is also owned by EIC). There had been no discussions regarding further layoffs or layoffs to such an extent.
- Instead of imposing furloughs based on seniority, the Company then proceeded with the layoffs outside of full accordance with the assurances they made to the pilots. In fact, several of the most senior pilots (including two pilots in the top 10 of seniority overall) have been included in the pilots laid off.
In addition to the ULP complaint, ALPA also filed an interim order with the CIRB. By filing an application for an interim order on behalf of Perimeter pilots, ALPA is asking the CIRB to take immediate action to neutralize the immediate harm to these pilots as raised in the ULP. As ALPA’s interim order application has been filed on an expedited basis, the pilots hope to have the CIRB’s ruling on these issues in the coming weeks.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 63,000 pilots at 34 airlines in Canada and the United States, including Canadian carriers Air Borealis, Air Georgian, Air Transat, Bearskin, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air, Jazz Aviation, Kelowna Flightcraft, Morningstar Air Express, PAL Airlines, Sky Regional, Wasaya, WestJet, and WestJet Encore. Visit ALPA at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org