Last Friday, on September 11th, the elected leaders of CUPE’s Airline Division, which represents over 10,000 flight attendants at 7 different airlines in Canada, passed a unanimous motion officially endorsing Tom Mulcair and the New Democratic Party in the upcoming Federal elections.
The seven Component leaders are elected to speak on behalf of their members across the Airline Division. The COCP (Council of Component Presidents) believes that on the issues of aviation safety, employment, wages and benefits, pensions and affordable and accessible child care – all critical issues to flight attendants — the NDP has the strongest record. By supporting the NDP, the COCP is squarely in line with the policy set by over 2,000 delegates to the 2013 CUPE National Convention.
While the COCP has endorsed the NDP and encourages members to do the same, each of you is free to support the party you chose. However we firmly believe that by examining the record of all the parties, members will conclude that their best hope for a better standard of living and a safe and healthy workplace is the NDP.
WHY DID WE CHOOSE TO ENDORSE TOM MULCAIR’S NDP OVER OTHER PARTIES?
1- It is absolutely clear that we cannot endorse the existing Conservative Government, given the incredible amount of damage they have inflicted on aviation safety, on the labour movement, on our freedom to bargain collectively, and how they continue to endanger our members’ retirement security.
2- When we asked the parties if they would scrap the 1:50, only the NDP gave us an unconditional promise of “yes”. The NDP is also the only party that has consistently condemned the 1:50 in parliament and at Transport Canada meetings. The Greens are against the 1:50, but without any chance of forming the government or the opposition, they have no power to scrap the regulation. The Liberals are wishy-washy, saying they will not make changes without consulting “stakeholders” (which we know from their record usually means corporations). Liberal MPs have already replied that they ‘trust Transport Canada’s judgement’ regarding the 1:50 ratio. The Conservatives did not even have the courtesy to reply.
3. The NDP are the best bet for an affordable, accessible, high quality national child-care program modeled after the $15 per day program in Quebec. Over 75% of flight attendants are women – another major reason the NDP got our vote.
4. The NDP is committed to scrapping Conservative bills that weakened safety laws and cut safety inspectors, made it harder to organize unions in the federal sector, and imposed unprecedented financial reporting requirements on unions.
5. The Conservatives are widely viewed as having had the most secretive, scandal-ridden and anti-democratic party in the history of Canada. We believe the time is now for a pro-worker, pro- democracy government led by the NDP.
On October 19th, let’s hope we can finally elect a Government that will respect workers’ rights, reinstate Canada’s high aviation safety standards, protect democracy and the environment, and prioritize low to middle-income earners and their families over corporate profits.
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE