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Air Canada employees suspended over Facebook posts

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Eight workers for Air Canada have discovered they shouldn't treat Facebook like the employee crew lounge.

They've been suspended without pay Monday for talking disparagingly about the airline on the social networking site, reports Sun News. The employees, who range from the ages of 20 to 50 years old, are awaiting arbitration where they might be fired.

Most of the accused employees work on the front lines for Canada's largest airline as either station attendants or customer service agents. Another works in a maintenance facility, but the alleged comments were all made in a closed Facebook group.

"Right now, I think they're still in shock," said union spokesman Boyd Richardson, who represents the employees in IAMAW Local 140. The comments date from April to November 2012, and he's still waiting to review the Facebook posts with a legal counsel.

What most of their comments were regarding is not clear, but they do admit to making them. Sun News said that one comment related to Canadian Labour Minister Lisa Raitt. Last March, she was against a strike organized by Air Canada employees and ordered them back to work.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the matter relates to the unauthorized strike that disrupted hundreds of flights at Toronto Pearson Airport. It's part of an "ongoing investigation" into the strike that the airline is conducting, he said.

The union’s Richardson said he doesn't know if the affected group of employees had anything to do with the strike since "nobody has ever been disciplined for it."

Photo by Thomas Woodtli/Flickr