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OTTAWA – The House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities needs to stop proposed changes to the regulations that would allow airlines to reduce the number of flight attendants on certain aircraft, CUPE said today.

The present formula for flight attendants in Canada is one attendant to every 40 seats. The airlines want that changed to one in 50 seats, putting them in line with airlines in the United States.

But Transport Canada killed a similar proposal five years ago,” said Pamela Sachs, president of CUPE’s Air Canada Component, representing the concerns of 8,750 cabin personnel. “Transport Canada killed that proposal then because it would have compromised the safety of the traveling public.”

Transport Canada has not been as open or forthcoming as it must be when issues of safety are concerned,” said Richard Balnis, senior researcher on airline issues at CUPE. “Transport officials have withheld key documents, and have not stood up for the public’s safety.”

We hope the standing committee will step in to ensure that all of the information on this issue is put on the table so it can make an informed decision on behalf of all Canadians,” Balnis added.

Transport Canada must not be allowed to reduce the safety of the traveling passenger – or the safety of the people that I represent,” Sachs added.

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Contacts: Pamela Sachs, President, Air Canada Component, (647) 224-7400; Richard Balnis, Senior Researcher, CUPE, (613) 237-1590 ext. 234