Unifor calls for safety and respect for workers as government drops COVID travel restrictions

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Mask requirement sign lit up in an airport

TORONTO –In light of the changes the Canadian government announced yesterday – on Sept. 26, 2022 – to drop all COVID-19 travel requirements beginning Oct. 1, 2022, Unifor is calling for ongoing and vigilant attention to the health, safety and respect of workers in that industry.

“Public health guidance has protected many workers since the start of the pandemic, and guidance has changed based on the various stages,” said Unifor’s National President Lana Payne. 

“However, we still believe that the safety and respect of airline workers must be front of mind. Workers in the industry felt sustained pressure during the pandemic and faced disgraceful harassment and abuse in recent months as restrictions began to lift.”

Among the measures the Public Health Agency of Canada announced it was removing include submitting information on the ArriveCan app, providing proof of vaccination, undergoing testing before or after boarding a plane and wearing masks on planes and trains. 

“Unifor members have faced abuse and harassment over flight cancellations, delays and lost luggage,” said Leslie Dias, Unifor’s Director of Airlines. 

“Policing the mask mandate was difficult at times, with it being an additional source of conflict in an already difficult and stressful work environment. We want all airlines workers to feel respected and safe on the job.” 

Unifor represents 16,000 members across Canada in the aviation sector. 

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.

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

Media Contact

Jenny Yuen

National Communications Representative