Unifor responds to Air Canada on COVID-19 mitigation

Unifor responds to Air Canada on COVID-19 mitigation

May 15, 2020 at 7:30 PM


Several weeks ago, Air Canada approached Unifor looking for proposals on additional mitigation strategies as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Unifor seized this request as an opportunity to provide an extensive list of mitigation options to voluntarily reduce the workforce.

Yesterday, the employer responded to our mitigation proposals, and stated that they are not prepared to implement any of our strategies, citing that company’s top priority at this time is to preserve cash. They will not be offering VSP options for any of its unionized workers.

On March 31, Air Canada made the announcement that it would be putting 15,600 of its unionized workers on layoff status as a result of the incurring pandemic. This translated into the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program which benefits all employees on voluntary or involuntary layoff. The program – which covers 75 per cent of an eligible company's payroll, up to a maximum of $847 per week per employee – was originally was set to expire next month.

Earlier today, the Federal Government announced that the program would be extended until August 29, 2020. However, Air Canada has advised that they will only be extending the program for a small number of employees that are not required now but that they anticipate needing by September.

Further information will be communicated as it becomes available. In the interim, please ensure that you have subscribed to unifor2002.org.


In Solidarity,

Euila Leonard
President Unifor Local 2002

Leslie Dias
Unifor Director – Airlines Sector



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