In airports across Canada and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa flight attendants are lobbying today for federal government action on airline security.
“Airport and airline security issues must be addressed in the upcoming federal budget,” says Frano0069s Bellemare, President of CUPE’s Airline Division, which represents 11,500 flight attendants across Canada.
“As front line workers we know that security must be taken seriously and provided by qualified, trained and resourceful public sector employees. Contracting out vital security services to the lowest bidder will not work.
“We have proposed a 54-point plan for airport and airline security. We know what needs to be done and how to do it. We also know what will not work.
“Two key security issues are: prevention on the ground, and protection in the air. The federal government is responsible for both,” he says.
CUPE flight attendants are lobbying to have airline security screening conducted by federal peace officers working with the Justice department. “That way they’d be linked to intelligence sources and ensure that screening and security clearance meet national standards,” Bellemare says.
The union supports the call for federal air marshals on international and domestic flights. “This would ensure the safety of crew and passengers. While we support locked cockpit doors, we know that once the pilot is locked in, we flight attendants and passengers are without backup. We need trained security personnel on every flight.”
“The federal government must take action. They have the responsibility and the ability to set standards and ensure they are met. They also have the ability to fund these measures and, if necessary, levy a passenger security charge to pay for adequate security on Canada’s airlines,” he concludes.
For information, contact :
Frano0069s Bellemare, President of Airline Division of CUPE,
(514) 923-3167 (cell.)
Rob Limongelli, Airline Division of CUPE,
(604) 786-1403 (cell.)
Sandra Sorensen, CUPE Communications,
(613) 237-1590 ext. 268 or (416) 712-1161 (cell.)