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CUPE is asking a bankruptcy court judge to restore the union’s right to defend its members from layoffs. In a motion before the Ontario Superior Court, the union is seeking leave to challenge Air Canada’s lay off of more than 600 flight attendants.

“There’s a lot at stake for our members,” says Pamela Sachs, president of the Air Canada Component. “This isn’t a technical debate about bankruptcy law. It’s about our rights and our future. Hundreds of flight attendants have already been laid off and more job cuts are threatened.”

Under the terms of the bankruptcy protection plan approved by the courts, CUPE has been prevented from appealing Air Canada’s move to lay off flight attendants, including all its flight attendants in Edmonton.

The union had applied to the Canada Industrial Relations Board to overturn the layoffs but the Board has been prevented from hearing the case under the terms of the interim court order granted by Justice James Farley.

“We’re calling on the courts to recognize our rights and respect our duty to protect our members’ jobs,” says Sachs. “We believe these layoffs are illegal and we are determined to do everything in our power to defend our members.”