Canada’s flight attendant union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), is calling on the federal government to act immediately to keep communities across Canada connected and save thousands of jobs in the airline industry.

“Canada remains the only G7 country without a comprehensive plan to support airline workers,” said Wesley Lesosky, President of CUPE’s Airline Division. “Our industry is on life support – we need Ottawa’s help now, and doing so will make all Canadians safer.”

CUPE supports the rally happening today on Parliament Hill, organized by airline workers across Canada whose jobs have disappeared because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has already seen thousands in the sector lose their jobs, and the outlook for the industry is grim. In the past week, Air Transat announced it will close its base in Vancouver and WestJet announced it would be cutting the overwhelming majority of its routes in Atlantic Canada.

CUPE has argued that the federal government should implement rapid testing of passengers at airports prior to departure, which would make our aircraft cabins and flying safer for Cabin Crew Members and the public, and help jumpstart demand for air travel.

CUPE represents approximately 15,000 flight attendants at nine different airlines in Canada.