Wednesday, 14 April 2021

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) bemoans federal government’s $5.9 billion aid package for Air Canada

The Canadian Union of Public Employees CUPE reacts to the recently announced $5.9 billion aid package for Air Canada, which it says is bad news for the carriers cabin crew and breaks the governments own commitments to staff.

"We had a commitment from the Trudeau government that any relief money for the airline sector would flow directly to support workers, and that commitment is not reflected in this agreement," said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. "This deal is exactly what we feared a deal cooked up behind closed doors would look like: it’s a year late, no transparency, and not nearly enough to support the thousands of flight attendants still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic."

"This announcement is good news for our 2,000 members still working at Air Canada and for the stability of the company going forward, but it’s tough to think this is what we waited 13 months for,” said Wesley Lesosky, President of the Air Canada Component of CUPE. "This announcement leaves over 7,500 of my members with no answers and no income supports."

The $5.9 billion aid package provides long term support for the national carrier which had been hard hit by the pandemic and the resulting downturn in passenger numbers. Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada said:  "The additional liquidity program - achieves several aligned objectives as it provides a significant layer of insurance for Air Canada, it enables us to better resolve customer refunds of non-refundable tickets, maintain our workforce and re-enter regional markets. Most importantly, this program provides additional liquidity, if required, to rebuild our business to the benefit of all stakeholders and to remain a significant contributor to the Canadian economy through its recovery and for the long term."  The airline has already changed direction on its previous refund policy for passengers that had had flights cancelled because of the pandemic, who now will be able to get a refund, thanks to the bailout.





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