The Company’s Recent Town Hall Meeting

The company’s recent town hall meeting included some positive takeaways like network growth, recalls, and even the possibility of hiring next year.

You should know that while it is important that the employer engage our members directly, it is sometimes a very one-sided take on the realities you face out on the line. In some cases, it can misrepresent the interactions we have had with management. There are a few things that we would like to clarify or expand upon:

Will mandatory mask policies be removed once everyone onboard is fully vaccinated?
It was stated by the company that were government mandates to be removed, the company’s policy might be changed to allow for masks to be optional in the workplace.

To be clear: the Union has not had any discussion with management on this. The union’s position is that masks ought to be maintained until we are no longer dealing with a pandemic spread situation. As an international carrier, it is not as simple as following local guidelines. The scope of our operations must also be considered as well as the hazard that this poses to crews.

Cabin crew as stakeholders:
The company made a point of noting our membership’s important place as a stakeholder. In its responses to you, management continues to talk about risk assessments proving service is safe and stated that “health and safety participated”. It should not come as a shock, that there are frequently disagreements between management and the Union regarding matters related to safety and service increases. And while it is true that we participate in good faith, this does not mean that we agree.

Our concerns with the company’s risk assessments include, but are not limited to:

  • The risk assessments include the monitoring and review of injuries and health and safety complaints. But the company is so behind reviewing them that huge numbers of reports have sat for extended periods before being looked at by management.
  • Cases where measures called for in the risk assessment were partially completed. This has the effect of nullifying the reported “residual risk” level.
  • The company hasn’t made clear where it draws the line in terms of how many injuries would cause it to re-assess its processes (known as an accepted level of risk).
  • The company flatly refused to allow our CUPE subject matter expert in immune systems participate in the service risk assessment.
  • The company’s infectious disease expert agreed that the risk assessment into service needed to be re-evaluated based on the reports that you have been filing, and realities you have been expressing. Yet the original assessment continues to be cited as proving service levels are safe.
  • A lack of record in the final document for dissenting opinions or issues that the group felt were important but could not reach consensus on.
  • Various technical/procedural concerns with the process itself.

The company’s duty to inform:
On the call, the company stated that it didn’t have stats on hand but that the health and safety committees have the stats on COVID in the workplace. This is incorrect. Only the management has full and complete numbers since only the employer currently has full access to reports. The joint committees do their best to keep track but do so using a patchwork of illness/injury reports and anonymous data generated by contact tracing. The result is confusing, and sometimes inaccurate.

Consider this: If it is true that the company management doesn’t have full figures related to COVID-19 in the workplace, how on earth are risk assessments and services changes approved?

The Canada Labour Code makes it explicitly clear in section 125(1) that it falls to the employer to advise workers about hazards in the workplace, safe work practices, and maintain accurate records. The role of health and safety committees is primarily (but not exclusively) to participate in development of company policies, procedures, and programs. We are also participating in investigations, review health and safety complaints and to formulate recommendations to the employer based on findings.

The Union disputes the company’s benchmarking:
Nearly 30 minutes of the town hall focussed on the company’s comparison of service on other carriers, noting that Lufthansa and Qatar exceed our standards. But we are a different airline from a different country and cannot properly be compared.

To be clear: we feel that it is important to consider all aspects of the competition, and to keep in mind that foreign carriers may operate under different health and safety laws and regulations as well as crew complements.

For example, the union raised the decision of Southwest and American Airlines to postpone re-introduction of alcohol onboard their flights citing a rise in disruptive passenger incidents. Our management declined to follow even though we continue to grapple with the same problems onboard.

Particularly within North America, the Union has noted that our service standard far outpaces the competition at a time when safety should be the priority. Our CUPE member airlines report that this is causing a vicious circle in the domestic market: as our company ups service, it prompts the competition to discuss increasing theirs. Our management then argues service needs to be upped further due to the competition.

It was mentioned that customers are saying it’s safe to fly. What the passengers believe to be safe and what is necessary to ensure safety are not always aligned. The law does not say “ask the customer for safety advice”. It requires dialogue with the workers for this kind of feedback.

Past History:
The Union and company spent many months collaborating on service that both respected the need for limited contact, while also providing our customers the nourishment they need in an appealing way. The Union made it clear that it was prepared to continue work to develop safe service with the company. Instead, management appears to be taking a “COVID is over” approach intended to bring us back to pre-COVID levels as quickly as possible no matter what employees report.

In fact, the company has increasingly portrayed COVID-19 measures as an obstacle to its recovery and success.

Let’s not forget that at a time when the company was being slammed for its marketing at the end of the second wave and being made into a scapegoat by politicians, it was measures like clean care kits, crew in full PPE and a nice product with limited interaction that were instrumental to re-gaining public confidence in our industry. Things like masking and avoiding close physical contact are proven to be some of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of this virus. Our industry must continue to prove that it is part of the solution – not the problem – and this will not be achieved with meal choices.

Our dedication to reporting, strict and efficient onboard COVID procedures, and maintaining our PPE during the pandemic is why passengers feel safe – not the number of drink choices. We agree that service is important. Great service includes, above all, keeping everyone – crew and customers – healthy and safe so they can get to where they are going and return home to their families.

The Union’s bulletins on reporting can be found here:

Bulletin:
https://mailchi.mp/3f6c6b64a7f7/reporting-tablissement-de-rapports?e=2008c96150

FAQ:
https://mailchi.mp/8ebbaee0dc29/reporting-follow-up-bulletin-bulletin-de-suivi-des-rapports?e=ab1d70c598

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee

Vacation Display Issue in PBS for the November Block Month

We are currently seeing a discrepancy in how vacation is being displayed in PBS. The correct information is being displayed in Globe.

Until the vacation display issue is rectified, please refer to the information in Globe when bidding in PBS for the November block month.

Notice of Upcoming Election – Local Trustee 3-Year Term Position

In accordance with Appendix “B” of the Air Canada Component Bylaws, anyone wishing to be nominated for the available Component Trustee position should adhere to the following information:

A Trustee election shall be held every year in January, last a minimum of ten (10) days and close at 12:00 noon EST on the final day of voting (Article B.5.1). If an election is necessary to fill this position, it will begin on January 7, 2022 at 9 am EST, and will end on January 21, 2022 at 12 pm EST

Members who wish to be nominated for the available Component Trustee position shall file nomination papers and a completed Oath of Nomination form, to be received by the Chairperson of the Component Tabulating Committee by November 15th in the calendar year preceding the Component Officer Elections. (Article B.6.1)

Candidates shall disclose their full name and intended position clearly on the nomination papers prior to soliciting signatures. (Article B.6.2)

Nomination forms, as provided by the Component Tabulating Committee, must have at least fifty (50) signatures from eligible voters on the Membership List. (Article B.6.3)

The Oath of Nomination form (Appendix “F”) must be completed in its entirety in order to be accepted by the Tabulating Committee. (Article B.6.4)

* IMPORTANT: Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, and on an exceptional basis, the Component Tabulating Committee will accept electronic signatures on nomination forms for the vacant Component Trustee position.  An electronic signature must be the member’s actual signature and not simply the member’s name typed onto the nomination form. This will allow for members not actively in the workplace to nominate a candidate for a delegate position. The nomination form must be filled out in its entirety by the candidate, signed off and dated prior to scanning for electronically received signatures. We are doing this to ensure all members have an opportunity to run, as well as ensure all members have an opportunity to collect signatures, with the COVID pandemic in place, many of you are not able to access your work sites or Union offices due to not having a RAIC.

NOTE: For interested candidates, a complete instruction package with nomination sheets will be available on the Air Canada Component website www.accomponent.ca, as well as by request from your Local office, or by clicking HERE. It is recommended that you read the complete instruction package.

DEADLINE:  Completed original nomination sheets must be received no later than, November 15, 2021 at 16:00 EST at the following address:

AIR CANADA COMPONENT TABULATING COMMITTEE
25 BELFIELD ROAD
ETOBICOKE, ONTARIO   M9W 1E8
Nomination sheets received after November 15, 2021 at 16:00 EST will NOT be accepted. The Tabulating Committee recommends sending your documentation by registered mail to ensure timely delivery and receipt.

In Solidarity,

Your Component Tabulating Committee

Staffing Update – October 12, 2021

Please see the staffing updates below:

Updated Seniority List
Your Union has updated the seniority list with the most recent recalls and retirements using information provided by Air Canada. Please remember that your seniority number will not change, only your ranking is updated on the list as members resign and retire.

*** Please note there may be errors or omissions, if you are aware of any please contact your union. You will also note that those members on leaves but senior enough to avoid layoff will be coded as Active. ***

Click HERE for an Updated Seniority List as of the October 2021 Block Month.

Retirements 
In addition, please see the current retirement numbers below, including the ERIP retirements.  You can also view full details over the past three years by clicking HERE.

In solidarity,