Friday, August 03, 2007

Survey findings: Air Canada pilots' morale extremely low

Air Canada Pilots Assn. logoA researcher from the John Molson School of Business at Montreal's Concordia University who conducted a survey of nearly a thousand Air Canada pilots last year found a climate characterized by extremely low morale. Dr. Martin L. Martens found that "the pilots' sense of fairness, justice and trust in executive management were unusually low and points to very poor morale and a negative working environment."
"There are hundreds of published studies that have examined justice and fairness and we're not aware of any research out there that has produced scores this low, it's extremely unusual," says Dr. Martens, whose survey polled the attitudes of 900 Air Canada pilots. "The numbers that we have are a very strong indication that the people responding (to the survey) on average do not trust the company or do not trust the senior management for whatever reason."

"This study proves what we knew all along; now we see that it's even worse than we thought," says Capt. Serge Beaulieu, spokesperson for the Air Canada Pilots Association. "Our pilots are committed to do a safe and professional job, but when we're not treated fairly, that has to affect the airline's performance."

Problems, says Beaulieu, range from day-to-day contract violations by Air Canada to a general lack of respect for employees. Beaulieu also points to problems stemming from the company's recent bankruptcy where employees gave up $6-billion in concessions over six years to stave off liquidation. Now that the company is financially healthy, he says, shareholders and executives are, "Not sharing the gain with those who shared the pain."
Dr. Martens will present his findings at an Academy of Management conference in Philadelphia on Monday, Aug. 6. For a preview of what he will present, have a look at the Backgrounder - Air Canada Pilot Workplace Climate Study.