(Toronto) – After twenty-four consecutive hours of negotiations, the Airline Division of CUPE, representing 1,500 flight attendants at Canada 3000, has failed to reach an agreement with the airline carrier.
On November 7th, the company lost its bid at the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) to sever the Royal wing of their operations. The company was arguing that they required the ability to permanently terminate all flight attendants and pilots from the former Royal Aviation in order to survive. In rejecting their application, the CIRB urged the company to return to the negotiating table and meet with the unions to find ways to mitigate their economic losses.
CUPE has been at the negotiating table around the clock since the end of the CIRB hearing yesterday, in a concerted effort to assist the company in achieving the immediate relief that it sought from its employee groups. CUPE tabled a final offer that gave the company all it sought: 500 layoffs to be shared between the Royal and Canada 3000 components, a method by which these layoffs would be executed, including provisions for recall, merger-related cross-training, and issues related to location, bumping rights and seniority. CUPE further offered to accept a wage freeze and 5% wage rollback, effective today. For flight attendants at Royal, the wage rollback in effect amounted to 7.5% because they also agreed to a reduction in the minimum number of hours they work per month.
“We are extremely disappointed that this company has not met us on this offer. It was more than fair. We made numerous sacrifices. They said they needed to lay off 500 flight attendants – we agreed. They said they required wage rollbacks and a pay freeze in order to stay afloat – we agreed. We moved as far as we possibly could because we realize the company is in financial difficulty as a result of the downturn that has hit the airline industry since September 11th.” said Humberto da Silva, President of the Royal Component of CUPE. “We feel this deal would have given them what they needed to make it through this downturn until the economy improves and the airline industry returns to normal again.”
“Angus Kinnear has much to answer for,” said Frano0069s Bellemare, President of the Airline Division of CUPE. “Our members – the frontline faces of Canada 3000 – worked through the night and gave all they could to save their jobs and this airline. It is up to Mr. Kinnear to move this forward.”
The Airline Division of CUPE represents 11, 000 flight attendants in Canada.
For more information:
Andrea Addario, CUPE Communications,
Humberto da Silva, President, Royal Component of CUPE,
Frano0069s Bellemare, President, Airline Division of CUPE,