Dear Prime Minister,

The COVID-19 pandemic and sweeping government efforts to combat it are now having a far-reaching impact on airline and Canada’s 50,000 airline workers who are laid-off by thousands. Since your government bears some responsibility for the financial consequences for airlines and their employees, an airline federal aid package focusing on workers is needed now. This airline relief package must maintain and return employees to payroll, protect collective bargaining rights, and come with legal guarantees that financial support from the government will go first to support workers’ wages, salaries, and benefits. CUPE and our allies in the labour movement are clear that this should not be a handout with no-strings-attached, and we expect that any public investment into the industry should result in a public stake in the company or companies involved. Finally, any proposed relief package from the federal government must be developed in consultation with, and have the consent of, the bargaining agents representing airline workers.

CUPE and the other Canadian airline unions are ready to talk now.