BUSINESS
08/28/2011 03:13 EDT | Updated 10/28/2011 05:12 EDT

Air Canada flight attendants hope government won't intervene in labour dispute

MONTREAL - The head of the union representing flight attendants at Air Canada (TSX:AC.A) hopes the federal government won't intervene in the escalating labour dispute between the two sides.

Jeff Taylor, president of the Air Canada component of CUPE, says he wants the government to respect the union's right to collective bargaining.

But he says it's difficult to predict what the Conservatives will do, noting they were about to legislate striking customer service staff back to work.

The customer service agents hastily reached a new contract with the airline in June before the government lowered its legislative hammer.

The flight attendants have overwhelmingly rejected a tentative agreement reached with the airline this month.

CUPE says it is organizing a strike vote for next month and intends to talk to management about restarting negotiations.

Air Canada, which issued a short statement Saturday acknowledging the rejection by the flight attendants, declined to comment Sunday.

The union said on Saturday that 87.8 per cent of those who voted gave the tentative agreement a thumbs down, with 78.6 per cent of members casting a vote.