Flight attendantsThanks to the advocacy and hard work of flight attendants across Canada, legislation has hit the floor of the House of Commons to ban unpaid work in the airline sector - less than three weeks after CUPE’s Airline Division held a lobby day on Parliament Hill to demand change.

Bill C-409 would change the Canada Labour Code to require airlines to pay flight attendants for all their hours worked, including pre-flight and post-flight duties, as well as mandatory training. While the bill is unlikely to pass before the next election is called, CUPE’s Airline Division looks forward to the Conservative Party and all other parties adding this commitment to their 2025 election platforms.

The federal NDP has been leading the fight in Parliament to raise awareness and pressure the government and industry executives on the issue of unpaid work in the airline sector.

While this particular bill was tabled by the Conservatives, flight attendants welcome the broad support for their cause across the political spectrum.

CUPE is encouraged to see the bill brought forward, but the fact that the bill was drafted and tabled without consultation with flight attendants and their union is disappointing. As we also know, the Conservative Party is no friend to workers, and flight attendants in particular.

The last time a Conservative private members bill was passed into law was the anti-union bill C-377, a bill that tried to kneecap the labour movement by burying unions in paperwork and public financial disclosures.

The last time the Conservative Party made major legislative changes that affected flight attendants, they changed the passenger to flight attendant ratios from 40:1 to 50:1, making flight attendants’ jobs harder, and jeopardizing safety of both crew and passengers.

To take action and show your support for flight attendants and CUPE’s Unpaid Work Won’t Fly campaign, write a letter to your MP.