February 21, 2019 at 3:00 PM
The Honourable Marc Garneau, PC, MP
Minister of Transport
330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5
Dear Minister Garneau:
Unifor is Canada’s largest private-sector union with more than 315,000 members across the country working in every major sector of the Canadian economy.
Unifor represents roughly 15,000 members in the air transportation sector. About half work for airlines (like Air Canada, Jazz, First Air, Porter, Sunwing and other regional carriers) as customer service agents, aircraft maintenance engineers and pilots. The other half are employed in support services to the airline industry, including nearly 3000 Unifor members who run Canada's air navigation system (NavCanada). Other support services, including airport maintenance, baggage handling, crew scheduling, airport security, and airline catering round out Unifor’s membership in this sector.
With Unifor members working across the aviation industry the union is preoccupied with these regulations. Potential cost impacts are in the hundreds of millions, our ability to grow jobs in this economically important sector could be severely impeded and, more importantly, we are deeply concerned that jobs will be lost.
Further, rushing implementation of these regulations to July 1st is not realistic. Customer-facing Unifor members will see their jobs become even more difficult in an already highly stressful environment if these new rules come into effect during the summer period, the busiest travel period of the year, as is currently proposed.
These regulations require further careful review and consideration by concerned stakeholders such as Unifor and other industry experts. We firmly believe that more time is needed to study the proposed regulations and its impact on jobs and workers.
For these reasons, we support the request made by the National Airlines Council of Canada (“NACC”) and are writing today to request that the consultation period for the Air Passenger Protection Regulations published under Gazette I be extended to one year to allow due consultation and implementation.
We thank you for your consideration of this important matter and urge you to consider these important and necessary changes in the process for the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.
cc: Leslie Dias, Unifor National Representative
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