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Air Canada successful in defending challenges to its language requirements and testing practices for customer service employees

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Air Canada

Air Canada prioritizes the hiring of individuals who speak multiple languages throughout its Canadian operations. Individuals who are hired for their language capabilities are periodically tested and expected to maintain their language skills. Unifor, Local 2002 (the "Union") filed a policy and individual grievance against Air Canada alleging that Air Canada's practice had improperly forced commitments of hire on individuals contrary to the collective agreement, and that Air Canada was in essence negotiating individual contracts of employment. Both of the grievances proceeded to arbitration.

The Arbitrator rejected the Union's arguments and dismised the grievances, finding that Air Canada had the right under the collective agreement to hire individuals who possess certain language capabilities and to require those individuals to maintain their language skills.

Jackie VanDerMeulen and Andrew Gould represented Air Canada on behalf of Fasken.


  • Ontario



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