Air Canada Decision Regarding Vaccination Status – Termination

CUPE Air Canada Component has been advised of an company-wide decision to terminate the employment of Members who are not COVID-19 vaccinated and have not been provided an exemption.

The Company has provided (or will be soon providing) formal notice to all employees who are on an unpaid LOA due to vaccination status.   The letter will indicate:
• a final deadline of May 1, 2022 for COVID-19 vaccinations. If vaccinations are completed by this date, Cabin Personnel will be trained and return to duty;
• Cabin Personnel who do not comply by the deadline will have their employment terminated on May 2nd, 2022; and
• Cabin Personnel who have been granted an exemption will continue in their current status.

The Air Canada Component of CUPE has already filed individual grievances on behalf of Cabin Personnel who applied for and were denied exemptions to the Company’s vaccination policy.

Next steps:
• The Union will be filing a policy grievance contesting the Company’s decision to terminate employment on May 2nd, 2022.
• Individual grievances will be filed on behalf of Members who have their employment terminated on May 2nd, 2022.

It is likely that these grievances will require many month or even years to litigate, assuming they are advanced to arbitration. The Union retains the jurisdiction to determine whether the grievances should be arbitrated.  For example, the Union is not required to advance grievances that it has determined are unlikely to succeed. At the current time, the Union is unfortunately not in a position to advise of the likelihood of a successful outcome or timeline.

In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE