As we all heard last week, Air Canada’s quarterly profit was $838 million. This is in huge part due to the amazing service our members provide day in and day out. From greeting our passengers as they board, to assisting them with special needs in flight and to welcoming them to their destination, we are often the only true interaction they have.
On behalf of your Union, kudos for an excellent job in what you all do, time and time again!
We have been highlighting your struggles with the Company, both at Air Canada Mainline and at Air Canada Rouge, and we strongly ask that you support this initiative and wear your Union pin, with pride. The more members wearing pins, the stronger we will be. It will be a common theme and one that will engage conversation.
If you do not have a new pin, please stop by your Local Union Office for one. These are permitted on your uniform, at both Air Canada Mainline and at Air Canada Rouge.
Below is a press release we issued to the media today:
Air Canada Profits Soar – While Air Canada Flight Attendants Forced to Work for Free: CUPE
Published Aug 14, 2023
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The union representing 9,500 flight attendants at Air Canada says the company’s quarterly profit of $838 million shows it is more than capable of giving its flight attendants a raise to their poverty starting wages. It also shows the company is more than capable of ending its reliance on – and abuse of – unpaid work by flight attendants.
“The great news is our customers are back, and the planes are full. The bad news is the workers who keep this airline flying are getting crushed by inflation, while the airline still depends on hours of our free labour every month to keep the airline operating,” said Wesley Lesosky, President of the Air Canada Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“Our members are highly-trained safety professionals, but our starting wages are so low that our members working fulltime still qualify for and depend on federal income supplements like the Canada Workers Benefit,” said Lesosky, noting the starting salary for a flight attendant at Air Canada Rouge is $26,487 in the first year.
Meanwhile, the company is not paying flight attendants for hours of critical work they perform every day, and the hours add up. A survey conducted by CUPE last winter found that the average flight attendant in Canada works unpaid for 35 hours every month because airlines like Air Canada only pay flight attendants while the plane is in motion.
“This means duties critical to safety and passenger well-being like assisting passengers during boarding and deplaning as well as pre-flight safety checks are not paid,” said Lesosky. “These huge profit margins reported are built on the backs of the airline not paying our members a fair wage – simple as that.”
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE