Lisa Raitt the Labour Minister in the Conservative government referred the dispute between Air Canada and two unions to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. The two unions represent pilots and ground staff.
This move will prevent a strike by ground staff and a lockout of pilots by Air Canada. No doubt Air Canada deliberately planned the lockout to ensure the government would step in as it has done.
Raitt will ask the Board what effects work stoppage would have in terms of health and safety concerns. Air Canada has a responsibility to fly into certain remote areas. While the Board investigates the union cannot strike nor can Air Canada implement a lockout.
Raitt has not yet suggested that the government would force both unions back to work through legislation. Raitt said:.
"The best deal they get is the one they do themselves," The ground workers union is already assembling a bargaining team to resume negotiations with Air Canada. The Pilots' Association is also meeting with Air Canada officials. For more see this article.