OTTAWA – According to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Air Canada has refused to release the study justifying the necessity of laying off 630 flight attendants and closing bases in Winnipeg and Halifax. CUPE also says the company has done as little as possible to soften the impacts of its draconian plan.
“Air Canada continues to show flagrant disrespect for its employees, clients, and impacted communities. In addition to causing upheaval in the lives of flight attendants and their families, it is affecting the economies of several regions – all the while showing neither sufficient justification nor good will towards mitigating the damage,” says Paul Moist, CUPE national president.
“For our Winnipeg and Halifax flight attendants – many with over 25 years of loyal service – this is difficult to accept after the major concessions of 2003 and 2004 to keep the company in the air, and after Robert Milton was paid 43 million in 2007,” says Lesley Swann, president of CUPE’s Air Canada component.
“At the very least, Air Canada has to validate its decisions,” adds Swann, “And it must provide adequate voluntary separation packages – otherwise, why get rid of young flight attendants who want to stay and keep older flight attendants who want to leave?”
CUPE is planning major action around the country against the Air Canada cuts: “Our union will lock arms with these flight attendants to weather this storm,” says Moist, “And on behalf of all affected communities, we will mobilize Canadians to fight for continued service from our flagship carrier.”
CUPE represents 570,000 members around the country of which 7,200 are Air Canada flight attendants based in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.
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For more information: Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Communications – 613.808.0675; Pam Kapoor, CUPE Communications – 613.853.8089