“Like the Conservatives before them, the Liberals have decided to put airlines’ profits ahead of passenger safety,” said CUPE’s Airline Division President Martyn Smith in reaction to Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau’s response to the Transport Committee unanimous report on aviation safety tabled in the House of Commons.
Despite their election promise to consult with stakeholders and experts on the matter ‘all the while keeping the safety of all Canadians as a top priority’, Minister Garneau now says that his government has no intention to revise the 1:50 flight attendant-passenger ratio which, according to his analysis, ‘provides an acceptable level of safety.’
CUPE and the Airline Division don’t share that point of view. “The 1:50 ratio is less safe than the 1:40 ratio. In fact, even Transport Canada recognized it in a 2001 uncensored Transport Canada report obtained by CUPE through Access to information requests, stated Smith.
The conclusion of the 2001 report is crystal clear: ‘further reduction in the number of cabin crew can have a negative effect on safety and certainly will not enhance safety.’
“Passenger safety is at stake, and we will continue to fight to return to the safety proven 1:40 ratio,” said Smith.
CUPE’s court challenge of the 1:50 regulation is still in front of the Federal Court. “With recent Transport Safety Board of Canada and Federal Court of Appeal rulings that both support our concerns regarding the 1:50 ratio, we are confident that our challenge of the 1:50 regulation will be successful,” concluded Smith.