The troubled airline’s ongoing battle with its workforce hit a new peak this year when the company’s efforts to launch a discount carrier met opposition from unions fearing the erosion of benefits and job security. Air Canada was forced to cancel about 75 flights in April when a faction of pilots called in sick—a strike declared illegal by labour officials.
Canadian Pacific Railway
The union representing the 4,800 rail workers who walked off the job claimed CP was angling to cut their pensions by up to 40%, despite making a profit in the previous year. Citing Canada’s reputation as an international business partner, federal Labour Minister Lisa Raitt intervened to order them back to work in May.
City of Toronto
Toronto narrowly avoided spring strikes by both its inside and outside workers. Good thing, too, considering labour action by the nearly 30,000 workers represented by both groups would have thrown a wrench into daycare, community centres, pools, city-run museums and other services.
The conflict between the mail carrier and its biggest union sparked another instance of federal back-to-work legislation, but it didn’t end the more than year-long dispute. Canada Post quietly negotiated a tentative agreement with workers in October.
Before October, the big-box chain’s low wages and fierce anti-union stance had inspired plenty of criticism but no serious labour strife. That all changed when newly formed workers’ organization OUR Walmart led the first-ever strikes to hit multiple Walmart locations across the U.S.