Air

Unifor represents roughly 12,900 members in the air transportation sector. About half work for airlines (like Air Canada, Jazz, Porter, Sunwing and other regional carriers) as customer service agents and pilots. The other half are employed in support services to the airline industry, including nearly 3000 Unifor members who run Canada's air navigation system (NavCanada). Other support services, including airport maintenance, baggage handling, and airline catering round out Unifor’s membership in this sector.

Unifor air traffic controllers begin bargaining with Nav Canada

OTTAWA – The Canadian Air Traffic Control Association (CATCA), who are members of Unifor Local 5454, opened bargaining with Nav Canada this week in Ottawa.

“Our CATCA members provide critical services needed for safe travel in our country. They are professionals who see collective bargaining as a way to improve that service to Canadians," said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Local 5454’s bargaining team are experienced and will be in our members’ corner every step of the way and ready to fight for a fair contract.”

Unifor attends air sector recovery summit in Ottawa

Unifor addressed key industry concerns including understaffing, a living wage at airports for all aviation workers, an end to contract flipping, introduction of successorship rights, and proper training and true protection for the harassment endured by workers on the job at the federal government’s National Summit on the Recovery of the Air Sector on Nov. 24, 2022 in Ottawa.

Unifor members unanimously ratify new contract at Porter Airlines Fixed Base Operations

Significant wage increases are part of a new collective agreement adopted this week by a unanimous vote of Unifor Local 2002 members working at Porter Airlines Fixed Base Operations Ltd. in Toronto.

“Members prioritized raising the wage floor in this round of bargaining,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “The bargaining committee didn’t back down and negotiated the best deal in the interest of the members, with no concessions.”

Unifor flags safety concerns after Sunwing’s intention to hire temporary foreign pilots

TORONTO –Unifor is concerned about Sunwing’s plan to use Canada’s temporary foreign worker program to hire pilots from countries with less rigorous training requirements, raising concerns about safety. 

“Sunwing will essentially be able to use the TFWP to hire pilots who do not meet the company’s own training requirements. The company is able to do this under the guise of professing there is a labour shortage, when the real issue is investing in training for local pilots,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President.   

Sunwing needs to hire qualified and trained permanent pilots within Canada

Unifor says Sunwing Airlines has not done enough to fill open positions by intending to hire permanent pilots who would be covered by the union’s collective agreement, instead opting to use temporary foreign workers. Read our letters to the company and the Canadian government asking them to stop this practice.

Unifor's letter to Len Corrado Président, Sunwing Airlines Inc.

Len Corrado
President, Sunwing Airlines Inc.
Re: Sunwing Application to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program Dear Mr. Corrado,

Canada’s Airport woes need solutions not finger pointing

By Kaylie Tiessen

Air travellers are frustrated, and for good reason.  A shortage of workers in the industry has clashed with rapidly returning demand for air travel to create cascading flight delays, lost luggage, cancellations and other disruptions at airports around the world.

These problems have been experienced at airports around the world, but Canada’s airports have been the worst.

Unifor’s Lana Payne to Minister Alghabra: Listen to workers to fix airport delays

TORONTO- Unifor National President Lana Payne wrote to Minister Alghabra today to offer clear solutions to the issues plaguing Canada’s airports with cancellations and delays.

“Aviation workers are listening intently to government, and so far the Minister has not shared an accurate description of the problem or common sense solutions. Aviation employers have cut jobs and continue to drive down wages in the industry, and it’s up to the federal government to change the rules to protect workers and travelers,” said Payne.

Letter to Minister Alghabra from Lana Payne

Honourable Omar Alghabra, P.C., M.P. Minister of Transport

Dear Minister Alghabra,

I am writing today to discuss the grave situation that continues to unfold at Canada’s airports.

Your deposition at the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities on August 19 2022 was eye opening. The narrative of the opposition that nothing has been done to alleviate the issue is simply not true. The government narrative that enough has been done is not true either.