The union representing roughly 300 employees at American Airlines in Toronto and Montreal has ratified a new two-year agreement that includes pension and benefits improvements.

The agreement includes a 0.5 per cent increase to the matching formula for the defined contribution pension plan — from 5.5 per cent to six per cent — plus an additional employer contribution of three per cent, regardless of an employee’s contribution to the plan.

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It also includes increases in vision benefits and eye exam reimbursement. And the health-care spending account will increase from $200 to $300 per year, with a one-year rollover to a maximum of $600 in claims in any year.

“There is a crisis of employee retention in the airline sector,” said Marty Warren, national director for Canada at the United Steelworkers, in a press release. “This agreement goes a long way to reward current workers for their efforts in difficult times, but also makes improvements that we hope will allow the for the better retaining and hiring of new, qualified employees.”

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