December 1, 2020
OTTAWA – Airline workers remain in the dark following yesterday’s financial update, wondering when the government plans to establish a national aviation recovery strategy.
“Though yesterday’s announcement offers supports to airports and makes critical investments in health and safety infrastructure, it fails to offer a plan to save this industry from total collapse,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Canada's aviation workers and airlines need the federal government to be agile and responsive and we have given them the solutions, but government is moving at a snail’s pace to stop the industry from bottoming out.”
The financial update provides rent relief for airports, financial support for regional airports and carriers and investments in security, safety and transit infrastructure. However the union believes it misses the mark by providing little to no help for large aviation employers that employ the bulk of front line airline workers.
“The decisions of governments today will be felt long into the future. Now is not the time to abandon Canada’s aviation workers who keep the travelling public safe. We need a national aviation recovery strategy that strengthens our aviation sector for years to come,” continued Dias.
The union is advocating for recovery strategy that focuses on an updated approach to border controls that is rigorous, safe and reflects scientific evidence, an industry-specific corporate support package that ensures benefits flow to workers, government support programs for furloughed employees until the industry recovers and continued training for pilots and NAV Canada employees to ensure their skills are maintained for when travel resumes.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.