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November 10, 1999

OTTAWA - “When the federal government invoked section 47 of the Transportation Act, they unleashed incredible uncertainty over the future of jobs for airline employees. Those employees and their families have been tormented and the government abdicated its responsibility to set clear policy direction 006100730020corporations battled for shareholder support. It didnt have to be this way,” says Judy Darcy, National President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Canadas largest union is calling on the federal government to act immediately to secure the future of the airline industry in Canada.

“No more excuses. The government must establish, through full Parliamentary debate, clear rules for the approval of any future corporate restructuring of the airline industry. And for the long term, it must develop an airline policy with teeth. One that provides for managed competition and protection for airline workers. The airline industry is vital to the economic well-being of Canada and the government must ensure, therefore, that service to communities is maintained and that the interests of all Canadians are served,” Darcy added.

Darcy and CUPE Airline Division president Denise Hill presented CUPEs position to the Senate Committee examining the current situation in the airline industry yesterday. They will appear before the Commons committee on Tuesday November 16.

CUPE flight attendants need assurances that there will be no involuntary lay-offs or forced relocation. They are demanding enhanced retirement and voluntary severance packages, wage equity and protection,” said Hill.

“This industry has provided good jobs and good service to Canadians but flight attendants have been through ten years of turmoil since the government deregulated the industry. The time has come for the federal government to act to ensure a financially sound industry for the future,” she added.

The text of CUPEs brief presented before the Senate Committee is available on our web site. CUPE represents 475,000 workers in airlines, health care, education, municipalities, libraries, social services, utilities and transportation.

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For more information please contact:Pam Beattie

To read Judy Darcys speech to the senate committee, click here.


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