TORONTO Flight attendants have a message for Air Canadas new owners. They wont let greedy senior executives and managers at Air Canada pocket a $160 million windfall while workers alone suffer the consequences of the companys insolvency, CUPE Air Canada Component President Pamela Sachs said today.
The union filed a grievance today requesting that Air Canada abide by the collective agreement it signed with the Air Canada Component of CUPE and make payments equivalent to those the company will give senior executives and management. The scheme will result in a $30 million windfall each for senior executives Robert Milton and Calin Rovinescu and an additional $100 million for senior management.
Last May the company and the union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sets out that no one within the company will receive a bonus payment without CUPE members receiving an equivalent payment or benefit.
Its important that Mr. Li realize that flight attendants are doing their share for the long-term viability of the airline, said Sachs. And its not fair that we are consistently left paying the bill after the executives banquet.
We agreed to concessions on the basis that everyone would be treated equitably. But the company continued to look for a backdoor way to reward the very people leading the charge on flight attendants compensation, benefits and working conditions. We look to Mr. Li to see that the pain is shared fairly, said Sachs.
Air Canada must abide by its own collective agreement. The union is simply saying a deal is a deal and that our members and their families must be treated fairly, CUPE National President Paul Moist said. It is outrageous that senior executives and managers are being rewarded for gutting the wages and benefits of workers and forcing CUPE members and other workers to pay the costs of the companys insolvency.
The MOU was signed on May 29, 2003 and became effective June 1, 2003 as part of the unions last collective agreement. Discussions between the union and the company for worker concessions flowed from the Company Creditors Arrangement Act negotiations between Air Canada and CUPE. At the time the union insisted everyone should share the pain fairly during the companys insolvency. Unionized workers have given a total $1.1 billion for six years to Air Canada.
The executive bonus scheme was authorized under the terms of the agreement between Mr. Victor Li of Trinity Times Investments and Air Canada after months of negotiations.
Alejandra Bravo (416) 798-3399x270, (416) 305-8095
Robert Fox, CUPE Communications, (613) 795-4977