Posted at 5:00 am
It is possible to submit job offers with higher salaries for full-time positions even if Quebec law provides otherwise. Corporations under federal jurisdiction can always do as they please. Air Canada is one of the companies benefiting from this.
Looking for baggage handlers and ramp staff at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, the nation’s largest airline is offering $16.60 an hour for a part-time job. The hourly rate is $21.11 for a full-time position.
The Labor Standards Act (LNT) Doing so is prohibited, but because the company is under federal jurisdiction, it is subject to Canadian labor law, which goes no further than Section 41.1 of Quebec law. Thus, this wage disparity is not illegal, even if the Trudeau government has expressed its desire to rectify the situation – without providing a timetable.
“We do exactly the same work and have the same responsibilities,” denounces Guillaume Lingat, president of Section 140 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). “The difference is that one worker works 20 hours a week and the other 40 hours.”
The union says Air Canada’s ways of doing things undermine the business climate.
We have employees who have been working part time for 10 to 15 years and see a newcomer who accepts a full time job and earn more than them. They are angry.
Guillaume Lingat, President, IAMAW Section 140
Among other job offers he has consulted Journalism For baggage handlers and ramp agent jobs, no other company offers higher salaries for employees who choose to work full time.
At Swissport and Avjet/TCAS, which provide outsourcing services to air carriers, the hourly rate is the same for new employees. In the context of labor scarcity, these two companies will have the right to imitate Air Canada because they are subject to Canadian labor law. The terms of employment contracts are different.
No problem, says the company
In an email, Air Canada spokeswoman Pascal Deere defended the company’s practices, stressing that it respects the applicable collective agreement. IAMAW confirmed this assertion.
Mr. Lingat says these clauses have been part of collective agreements since the air carrier was privatized in the late 1980s, and Mr. Lingat adds that the union has been unable to persuade an employer to waive them.
“It is unusual, in labor law, to see different levels of compensation for the same job,” notes François-Nicolas Fleury, an attorney at Monette Barakett who specializes in labor law. That is why we in Quebec have legislated on this issue. We are talking about laws, but about the frequency of work. »
Despite the special nature of this thing, Mr.e Fleury did not want to comment on Air Canada’s recruitment strategy at Montreal-Trudeau Airport.
When is the change?
The Trudeau government announced in 2018 that it wanted to “ban a gap between pay rates based on the employment status of employees,” but is slow to move from rhetoric to action. Consultations on the issue have just ended, but Employment and Social Development Canada refuses to give a timetable.
In the short term, Air Canada has no intention of changing its methods.
“Our approach respects the law as it is today and collective conventions,” says Ms.I know. We are aware of the government’s intentions and are watching developments. »
IAMAW has a hard time explaining how nearly four years have passed since the changes announced by the Trudeau government. The union accuses him of slowing down when there is a solution to correct an “injustice”.
On government websites, it is suggested [les disparités salariales] Illegal, but not valid. What is the point of declaring changes when there is no point? »
The employment contract for Air Canada ramp agents represented by IAMAW expires in 2026.
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