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TORONTO The Canadian Union of Public Employees ground-breaking pay equity victory is long-overdue justice for flight attendants at Air Canada that will benefit women workers across the country, said CUPE Air Canada Component president Pamela Sachs today.

Sachs was reacting to the Federal Court of Appeals decision that CUPE flight attendants at Air Canada should receive pay equity with male workers performing other jobs within the company.

Air Canada had argued that the flight attendants, who are mainly women, dont work in the same establishment as defined in the legislation, as pilots and mechanics who are mainly men. The court has ruled that they do, said Sachs.

This is a ground-breaking decision for Canadian women. The narrow interpretation of establishment as outlined in section 11 of the Pay Equity Act has been thrown out, Sachs said. The Court of Appeals decision redefines establishment to include workers within the same company and therefore opens the door to long-overdue justice for women workers who are underpaid compared to their male counterparts working for the same employer. Our victory will certainly have positive implications for women in other industries.

CUPE has been working hard in every sector to raise womens wages and achieve fairness and equity for women, said CUPE National President Paul Moist. Were concerned about how long it has taken us to get to this point with Air Canada but we hope that the employer will stop stalling and make a commitment to pay equity now.

CUPE fought long and hard, our members stood firm despite all the arguments and delays made by the company. We are very proud of the significant landmark flight attendants have reached for women workers today and we expect Air Canada to comply with this ruling and to stop fighting fair treatment of its flight attendants, Sachs said.

The court handed down its ruling late Thursday, March 18. The union first filed a complaint to the pay equity tribunal in 1987.


Information: Alejandra Bravo (416) 798-3399 ext. 270 (office), (416) 305-8095 (cell.)