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Roy RomanowFRED CHARTRAND

Former Saskatchewan premier Roy Romanow has been chosen by Air Canada's union leaders to serve on the airline's board of directors.

Five unions at the Montreal-based carrier won the right to nominate a labour representative to Air Canada's board of directors as part of a breakthrough labour and pension deal last June.

Mr. Romanow, who currently also sits on Torstar Corp.'s board, "has long promoted labour representation on corporate boards," Air Canada's council of unions said in a statement Friday.

Mr. Romanow, who is senior fellow in public policy at the University of Saskatchewan, is expected to join the airline's board at the company's next annual meeting.

"Labour representation on the airline's board was negotiated by the unions in June, 2009, when Air Canada asked its employee groups for cost-neutral collective agreements and support for a revised pension payments schedule, as part of a broader business restructuring," the council of unions said. "Through these negotiations and federal mediation, the unions gained an equity stake in the company and a representative on Air Canada's board of directors."

The council comprises unions representing employees such as pilots, dispatchers, flight attendants, mechanics and customer service agents.