TORONTO – Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon’s decision to maintain current minimum requirements for flight attendant staffing on large aircraft is a victory for common sense and passenger safety, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents 8500 flight attendants.
In declaring that the government would not be tabling amendments to reduce flight attendant requirements earlier today in the House of Commons, Transport Minister Cannon informed the House of Commons that:
“The Conservative government is committed to aviation safety and we recognize the important contribution that flight attendants make, particularly in emergency evacuations…”
“Minister Cannon is to be congratulated for rejecting the advice of Transport Canada bureaucrats who have been urging the Minister to adopt an industry sponsored proposal to cut flight attendant staffing levels by up to 25 per cent,” said Pamela Sachs, president of the Airline division of CUPE. “It’s only common sense that fewer flight attendants means lower safety and more risk for passengers, especially in the post-9/11 era,” Sachs said.
Concern about the passenger safety implications of cutting minimum flight attendant requirements has been shared by all political parties in the House of Commons.
“Canada’s flight attendants and CUPE’s 540,000 members wish to thank all passengers and Parliamentarians in the Bloc Québécois, the NDP and the Liberal caucuses who have shared our concern and advocated forcefully in support of passenger safety,” said Paul Moist, CUPE national president.
Paul Moist, national president, cell (613) 558-2873;
Pamela Sachs, CUPE Air Canada component president, cell (647) 224-7400;
416-798-3399 ext 236
Sandra Sorensen, CUPE Communications, (613) 237-1590 ext. 334