Canada airline workers shocked to experience no financial support for the sector

Published on : Friday, January 15, 2021

Canada’s Transport Minister requested aid and support for the aviation industry workers to help then sail through the devastating effect of pandemic. Unifor, ACPA, ALPA and CALDA continue to call on the federal government to make a direct and meaningful financial contribution to our devastated industry, commensurate with the contribution made by other countries to their own sector.

At a time when the unions are helped and supported by the Minister of Transport on the public commitment given on November 8, 2020  to work with aids and financial support from the Finance Minister in the Fall Economic Update, airline workers are concerned that, now entering our 10th week, no indication has been given that aid is forthcoming.

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA), the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Unifor and the Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (CALDA) collectively represent more than 300,000 Canadian workers, many of which have already been laid off or furloughed.

While the extended CEWS program – an employer-directed program – has provided some measure of job protection for Canadian airline workers, we have seen thousands of layoffs in this sector and a disproportionately large number of furloughed aviation workers, notwithstanding the CEWS. The harsh reality is that airlines are extremely capital-intensive operations with a high cash-burn rate and the requirement to preserve liquidity to maintain equipment, routes, and staff. This reality is not considered under the CEWS, and it is a clear indication that more federal government support is required.

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