MONTREAL (NEWS1130) – A long-standing labour dispute between Air Canada and its unionized repair and ramp crews has come to an end.

A federal arbitrator has sided with the country’s largest carrier and selected its final offer to establish a collective agreement.

The new five-year deal marks an end to 14 months of negotiations between the airline and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

It maintains the current defined benefit pension plan for current employees but includes pension changes for any new hires.

It also means there is only one of the airline’s major labour groups still without a collective agreement.

The airline’s 3,000 pilots are still in the process of working through their dispute with a federal arbitrator.

The threat of a lockout of pilots, and a strike notice from the Machinists, had prompted the federal government to intervene with back-to-work legislation.

 The resolution of outstanding labour contracts is being seen as significant as it could decide Air Canada’s ability to launch a low-cost carrier – currently a top priority at the airline.