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CP Air Ground Workers Off the Job, Flights on Reduced Schedule

May 3, 1985

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ More than 2,000 CPO Air ground employees who refused to work overtime were off the job completely Thursday, but the union denied they were on strike and management said there was no lockout.

Management employees were assigned to maintenance and baggage-handling jobs to keep the company’s 33 aircraft flying on a reduced schedule, said company spokesman Jim McKeachie.

McKeachie denied that CP Air had locked out the 2,300-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

He said that by refusing to work overtime earlier this week, union workers voided terms of their contract, which expired a year ago. In order to be allowed in to work, the employees were required to sign new work rules, which most refused to do, McKeachie said.

Company officials could not say how many union workers were on the job. Of the 6,900 CP Air employees in Canada, 1,500 are in management.

Bob McLean, the association’s secretary-treasurer, said union members were reporting to work Thursday at Vancouver International Airport and elsewhere across Canada, although they refused to accept the new rules.

″We are not on strike,″ MacLean said. ″That is most definite and I want to emphasize that.″

Meanwhile, in Ottawa, the Canadian Labor Congress asked the government to intervene in a five-day strike by 3,000 Air Canada ticket agents.

In a message Thursday to Transport Minister Don Mazankowski, congress secretary-treasurer Shirley Carr said the large, government-owned carrier was ″attempting to turn full-time jobs with decent rates of pay into low-paid, part-time jobs.″

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