February 2, 2021 at 3:15 PM
The Aviation sector has endured unprecedented losses since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Members employed by Air Canada have already seen severe cuts to staffing and are bracing for further cuts. Most of our country has been in some form of lockdown since the middle of last year, but up until recently, our members were still assisting travellers to get where they needed to go. So, what’s changed?
On Friday, the federal government announced that Canada’s major air carriers - Air Canada, Westjet, Sunwing and Air Transat – would be canceling passenger service to all Caribbean destinations and Mexico from Sunday, January 31 until April 30, 2021. In addition to these route-suspensions, there are now additional quarantine restrictions for international travellers. These recent restrictions have had devastating effects on an industry that was already being severely impacted.
Unifor has been meeting virtually with Air Canada management to discuss possible mitigation programs to address surplus staffing that was announced on January 13, 2021. Air Canada will be providing options of only a few of the many proposals Unifor made that could have mitigated more jobs. Moreover, these discussions have now been stalled as Air Canada is now looking at the potential for additional surplus staffing due to the damaging new Federal Government regulations.
Airline workers offer a tremendous contribution to local economies and economic development, as well as supporting thriving families and communities in every province in Canada. Unifor recognizes that containment of COVID-19 and its variants is critical for the country’s recovery, but it should not come at the expense of dedicated and hardworking airline workers.
The aviation sector requires immediate financial government support, as well as the development of a national recovery plan to support the companies and their workers.
Unifor 2002 Air Canada Bargaining Committee
Unifor 2002 Aeroplan Bargaining Committee
/21-02-02 AC-AE Mitigation Update en.txt