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Sunwing pilots reach tentative 3-year deal

TORONTO - A tentative deal has been reached between Sunwing Airlines and the union representing its 150 pilots.

Details of the three-year agreement will not be disclosed until it is ratified following a series of meetings later this month.

The pilots had been without a contract since December, even though negotiations had been ongoing since September.

The main concerns in bargaining had been wages, pension contributions and hours of work, said Ron Smith, transportation director for the Canadian Auto Workers union.

Sunwing pilots have been members of the CAW since January 2012. The union, Canada's largest private sector union, represents 11,600 members in the air transportation industry.

“The airline sector is incredibly challenging and we’ve proven many times over that having the backing of a strong union makes a big difference for airline staff, regardless of their profession or job,” Smith said in a statement.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Sunwing and its 900 flight attendants represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees are ongoing.

The flight attendants are trying to reach their first collective agreement since joining the union last March. If a deal is not reached, there could be a labour disruption as early as March 23.

Sunwing Airlines operates from bases in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.

It is a subsidiary of Sunwing Travel Group and a sister company to Sunwing Vacations, Signature Vacations and SellOffVacations.

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