Union-management disputes are bad enough. But union against union? In the cockpits of airliners?
Welcome to Canada, where the transport minister has been trying to dismiss speculation that a simmering dispute between two pilot groups at Air Canada, the country's dominant airline, could lead to fistfights in the cockpits.
Pilots who used to work for Canadian Airlines, which was swallowed up by Air Canada in late 1999, contend that a recent ruling by an independent arbitrator means they will lose much of their seniority in the enlarged airline.
CBC television has reported that tensions are growing between the two sets of pilots; there has even been a fistfight in an airport crew room, raising questions about what would happen when Air Canada and former Canadian pilots started sharing cockpits later this year.
But Transport Minister David Collenette had this to say: "Anybody who suggests there is some safety problem related to contractual disputes is being irresponsible."
"Our skies are safe, and the pilots of Air Canada - including the ones that came from Canadian Airlines - are professionals," he added.
The former Canadian Airlines pilots have turned to Canada's industrial relations board in a bid to overturn the arbitrator's decision on seniority.
Source: Lycos News