Montreal – The union representing Air Transat flight attendants announced that its members have said yes to a cost-reduction plan proposed by the company. Results of an electronic secret ballot show that 66 per cent of members accepted the measures that will result in $9 million in annual savings. A large portion of member flight attendants took part in the vote – 72 per cent.
The plan’s main element will see the number of flight attendants on A330 aircraft drop to 10 from 11. The savings will contribute to Air Transat’s ability to develop a fleet of Boeing 737 single-aisle aircraft. The union believes that despite initial job losses, the company will be able to maintain more jobs in the long term.
“Over the past few months, we studied different scenarios right down to the smallest details,” said Peter Buzzell, president of the Air Transat Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). “A large number of flight attendants participated in the information sessions.”
“Air Transat has been in a tenuous position in the industry for some time,” Mr. Buzzell said. “For union members, this has meant some difficult decisions. We have accepted a sacrifice to allow the company an opportunity to grow and to protect our jobs in the long term. It’s this desire for a balance that led to our decision.” The approximately 1,750 Air Transat flight attendants are emergency situation specialists whose primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of passengers. They are grouped in three local unions corresponding to their three bases: CUPE 4041 (Montreal-YUL), CUPE 4047 (Toronto-YYZ) and CUPE 4078 (Vancouver-YVR). The Air Transat Component oversees all three union locals.
CUPE is the union which represents the largest number of workers in the air transportation sector in Canada. In addition to Air Transat, CUPE now represents nearly 10,000 flight attendants at Air Canada, Sunwing, CanJet, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air and Cathay Pacific. CUPE also represents ground workers at Porter Airlines in Ottawa.
CUPE is the largest union in Canada with 627,000 members who work in the areas of health, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public services, urban and air transportation, emergency services, and communications.
Peter Buzzell, President, Air Transat Component, cell: 514 293-5124
Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Information, cell: 438 882-3756