BUSINESS

150 Sunwing pilots get wage increase, more benefits in new 3-year agreement

03/11/2013 02:00 EDT | Updated 05/11/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Pilots at Sunwing Airlines have ratified their first collective agreement with the charter and vacation air carrier.

The Canadian Auto Workers Union, which represents the 150 pilots, say the agreement was approved by a margin of 78 per cent.

The three-year deal includes an across-the-board wage increase of between one to two per cent per year each year, plus an incremental increase based on years of service, retroactive to Dec. 1, 2012.

The CAW says it will also see increases to pensions, annual sick days, maternity benefits and the creation of a work-sharing program as part of an effort to reduce layoffs during the low season.

The deal also includes 40 to 50 new hires, not including 19 seasonal pilots that have recently been offered permanent contracts.

The CAW says the agreement will also address workers' concerns over pilot fatigue and scheduling issues.

"The solidarity of the members and the bargaining committee's hard work helped ensure a strong agreement for our pilot group while allowing Sunwing Airlines to remain competitive over the long term," said Capt. Dave Matkovich, president of CAW Local 7378.

The pilots had been without a contract since December and became members of the CAW in January 2012.

The union, Canada's largest private sector union, represents 11,600 members in the air transportation industry.

Last month, a tentative deal was reached between Sunwing and the union representing its 900 flight attendants.

It is also the first collective agreement for the flight attendants after they joined the Canadian Union of Public Employees last year.

Sunwing Airlines operates from bases in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

It is a subsidiary of Sunwing Travel Group and a sister company to Sunwing Vacations, Signature Vacations and SellOffVacations.