Unifor aviation members rally in Toronto on Day of Action for better working conditions

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three people holding signs in the airport

TORONTO – Unifor aviation members are gathering today at Pearson International Airport during the busy holiday travel season to bring awareness to poor working conditions in the sector that lead to delays, cancellations, lost baggage, and packed airports.

“We all know that travel chaos is common, even without the holiday rush,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.

“From the terminal to the tarmac, Canadians need a plan that improves working conditions in the air transportation industry and ends contract flipping, so the public’s travel experience can be a smooth journey. Our members’ working conditions are the public’s travel conditions.”

Air transportation workers are calling on the federal government, airport authorities, and airlines to finally deal with the root causes of travel chaos by improving wages and working conditions in the sector – everything ranging from unpredictable hours to customer frustration and contract flipping need to be addressed.

On Unifor’s Day of Action at Pearson Airport, the union is clearing the runway for its Air Transportation Workers’ Charter of Rights, which highlights nine rights the Canadian government must meet to ensure the industry can fulfill their Air Passenger Protection Regulations — dubbed the “air passenger bill of rights” — and deliver a chaos-free travel experience.

Frontline aviation workers will be distributing leaflets that highlight the Charter

The union’s Charter demands the government, airport authorities and airlines do more to ensure workers in the aviation industry have fair pay and fair scheduling, protection from contracting out and access to safe and effective reporting mechanisms when problems arise.

It also puts pressure on the government, airports and airlines to address unsafe and unsustainable workloads, requires employers provide adequate, high-quality training, ensure a harassment-free environment, deliver a healthy and safe workplace and ensure a say in technological change.  

“The fact is: airports and airlines cannot even meet the federal government’s passenger bill of rights without improving job quality and increasing the industry’s workforce. This means passengers will have to rely on fines and refunds instead of a travel experience we all deserve,” said Unifor National Aviation Director Sandi McManus.

“Fines and refunds are not a consolation prize for cancelled vacations, delayed visits with family and friends or missed business meetings.”

The public is urged to show support for real change in the aviation industry by signing Unifor’s petition to the prime minister and federal transport minister.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy, including 16,000 members in the aviation sector. 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.

For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative @email or (416) 938-6157.

Media Contact

Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative