September 18, 2001
Hon. David Collenette
Minister of Transport
104 East Block
Dear Minister Collenette:
On behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents approximately 10,000 flight attendants at Air Canada, Canada 3000, Royal Aviation, CanJet, CALM Air, First Air, Air Transat and Cathay Pacific, I am writing to urge the federal government to offer immediate financial assistance to the Canadian airline industry.
Over the last several years, restructuring in Canadas airline industry has caused major upheaval. Airline workers have made tremendous concessions in the last decade, and despite this, they continue to live with the instability of their industry. Your governments policies of deregulation have contributed to the upheaval in the industry, and we request that you intervene now to financially assist airline carriers.
As a result of the tragic events of September 11th in the United States, it is expected that the Canadian airline industry will find itself in serious financial trouble. On top of last weeks shutdown, carriers are now saying they antici-pate a reduction in air passenger travel. Both Air Canada and Air Transat have already announced that they are considering employee layoffs in the wake of this event, and we expect that other carriers may be contemplating similar moves.
With the future of Canadas airline industry in grave trouble, it is imperative that airline workers not be made to bear the brunt of this further instability. Few other sectors have seen the upheaval that the transportation sector has in the last decade, and flight attendants have made more than their share of sacrifices already.
Minister Collenette, I urge you to announce immediate financial support for airline carriers in Canada. As the union representing the overwhelming majority of flight attendants in this country, I would also request the opportunity to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss several pressing issues facing the airline industry today.
I look forward to your reply.
c.c. F. Bellemare; P. Sachs; T. Twentyman; R. Moreau