days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

Air Canada CEO gets grilled about unpaid work by NDP MP in the House of Commons

Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau appeared before the House of Commons Committee on Human Resources on February 5, to answer questions about the airline’s policies regarding customers with disabilities.

But NDP MP Bonita Zarrillo, from Port Moody-Coquitlam (BC), also put Rousseau on the hot seat for another issue: unpaid work.
Watch the full exchange in the video.

“What do you think of the fact that flight attendants work 34.86 hours unpaid per month? That they’re not paid for boarding? That they’re not paid for their pre-flight safety checks?” asked Zarrillo. “For someone that makes $12.6 million per year, Mr. Rousseau, what do you think about that?”

Rousseau’s response to Zarrillo’s line of questioning shows not even the CEO of Air Canada can answer why flight attendants are paid so unfairly with a straight face.

What did Rousseau have to say to defend or explain this policy? “I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to comment on that.”

Really? If not the CEO, who else from Air Canada will be accountable for the practice of requiring flight attendants to work, on average, 35 hours every month for free? As flight attendants, we deserve a lot better.

But this much is clear: our message is getting through. Our campaign is only continuing to pick up steam, as elected leaders in Ottawa are beginning to take note and apply pressure to industry leadership. And as we can see, people like Michael Rousseau are feeling the heat – and it’s only going to get worse for them as we get closer and closer to the bargaining table.

In solidarity,