OTTAWA - Inter-Canadien Airlines employees from Quebec, rallying at the Department of Transport this morning, are right to be looking for federal action, says the president of Canada’s largest union.
“It’s not seat over-capacity or the free market that is killing Inter-Canadien,” says CUPE National President Judy Darcy, “it’s federal inaction in the restructuring facing the industry and a disregard for serving regional communities.”
CUPE has been pressing the government to stop ducking its responsibilities and develop an airline policy with teeth that would manage competition, protect jobs for airline workers and assure service for smaller communities.
“The Minister has the authority and the responsibility to act in the public interest,” says Darcy. “He unleashed this crisis back in August. No more excuses. The time for action is now.”
Darcy notes that today in Halifax, Inter-Canadien pilots joined CUPE flight attendants at the airport on a picket line to call for federal government action, just as Quebec Federation of Labour executive members, accompanied by busloads of airline industry members, arrived on the door-steps of Department of Transport in downtown Ottawa. The protestors are demanding the government bring all of the parties to the table, including the government of Quebec, Air Canada, Canadian Airlines, and Inter-Canadien management and its employees, in order to work out a restructuring plan.
CUPE’s Airline Division represents 9,000 flight attendants across Canada including 141 at Inter-Canadien.