Unifor launches Air Transportation Workers’ Charter of Rights

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A woman wearing a backpack facing a departures sign.

TORONTO – Unifor has released its own Air Transportation Workers’ Charter of Rights asserting that the actions taken by the federal government and airport authorities to solve travel chaos are not enough to solve the root of the problem— inadequate working conditions. 

“Our members’ working conditions are the public’s travel conditions,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. 

“The government’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations will not solve the chaos in the industry. These inadequate rules combined to low airport standards contribute to delays, lost baggage, and general chaos. The government and Canada’s airports can and must do more to improve working conditions while addressing harassment and stress workers in the airline sector face.”

Unifor’s Air Transportation Workers’ Charter of Rights highlights nine rights the Canadian government must meet to ensure the industry can fulfill the air passenger protection regulations — dubbed the “air passenger bill of rights” — and delivering a chaos free travel experience.

The union’s Charter demands the government and airport authorities 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.

The Charter also puts pressure on the federal government 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.  

“Fines and refunds are not a consolation prize for cancelled vacations, delayed visits with family and friends or missed business meetings,” said Sandi McManus, Unifor’s Director of Airlines. “Without an improvement in working conditions, travel conditions won’t change – even with a passenger bill of rights.”

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.