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Airline industry needs additional financial support given new COVID-19 tests requirement

December 31, 2020 - 12:00 AM

TORONTO – Unifor renews demands on the federal government to provide financial support for the airline industry as the industry prepares for all international travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival.

"Yesterday's announcement is important to protect the public safety of all Canadians, but at the same time, the federal government's continued refusal to provide adequate financial support for the 300,000 airline workers puts the very future of Canada's airline industry in jeopardy," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced a new protocol to require travelers arriving in Canada to provide a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, conducted within 72 hours before boarding a plane. The government expects the new rule to be in place within a week.

"Countries around the world have provided support to its airline industries because they recognize that maintaining a strong aviation sector is the key to a post-COVID-19 economic recovery. In addition to airline pilots, gate agents, ground crew and other staff, airport limo drivers, mechanics, air traffic controllers, and workers that maintain the airports all need their government to have a plan to allow them to maintain their skills and be ready to work once the restrictions are lifted," said Dias.

The union continues to lobby the federal government to develop a national aviation plan to provide financial support for workers and address the systemic issues contributing to the problem of too much precarious work in the aviation industry.