CUPE is again urging the Canadian government to take action to stabilize the Canadian airline industry.
“If the Canadian public is to be assured safe, convenient and reasonably priced air transport, the federal government is going to have to reregulate the industry,” said Judy Darcy, CUPE National President.
The failure of VistaJet and the closure of Greyhound Air provide the latest evidence of troubles in Canada’s deregulated airline industry. If there is a further downturn in the Canadian economy, the list of airline casualties could be even higher.
In a joint report with the CAW, Machinists and Teamsters, CUPE rejects the “heads in the sand” approach of a committee set up by the Minister of Transport to look at the future of the airline industry. The committee was set up after the financial crisis that threatened Canadian Airlines late last year.
Denise Hill, president of CUPE Airline Division and a member of the committee, said: “From the outset, the process was stacked against the unions.”
“The Minister made clear that he would not support major changes,” Hill added. “Two-thirds of the committee members represented business groups. They spent half their time discounting the concerns of union representatives and the other half lobbying for tax cuts and increased subsidies.”
The union report emphasizes that the crisis at Canadian did not arise from wage costs and could not be solved by wage rollbacks. It recommends a series of policy changes that will bring greater stability to the industry while protecting consumers and workers.