International Women’s Day 2020

March 8 is International Women’s Day — a day to recognize women’s achievements and acknowledge the challenges we continue to face in the quest for gender equality.

This year, let us be #EachforEqual, because an equal world is an enabled world. We invite you to help promote gender equality through your thoughts, words and actions.

Our history, as a profession, has come a long way in understanding and valuing women. Globally flight attendants – previously called air hostesses – were once seen as sex symbols. Their bodies used as advertising for airlines, selling their image as a promise of a good time on-board. While we have come away from this barbaric practice, we are still not a fully harassment free profession. CUPE is committed to addressing and preventing sexual violence at work and recognizes that everyone has a right to work in a safe environment. Did you know that 43% of women still experience some form of sexual harassment at work? That is unacceptable. Let us challenge ourselves now to question stereotypes, to fight the bias that our profession carries and to really treat each other with respect and dignity.

Collectively we have made many strives to ensure that as flight attendants we have equality in pay, job security and job progression opportunities and it is vital now to ensure equality in other areas for women and those who identify as women.

Beyoncé once said, “We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet.” But I promise you that together we CAN make it a reality.

Remember that the rise of women is not about the fall of men. Let us be a generation that expects gender balance and fights to achieve it. Let us be #EachforEqual.

Happy International Women’s Day from your Air Canada Component of CUPE.

In Solidarity,

Rebeca Woodward
Chair, Component Womens Committee

President’s Update – March 2020

A330 – Crew Rest
The Union is well aware of the issues with the A330 and the limited to no space for taking contractually allotted crew rest. We need your reports please. If it is a concern to you, make it a concern for your Union. We require a copy of the PIL, FIN, Flight, and Date. If crew rest seats were available, that is where rest can be taken, if they are not, we need to know, for EACH flight. Write “A330 – Crew Rest” in subject line, include the info and click send. We are an email away, and appreciate each report received.

B737 Max Update
Since CUPE has attended Boeing in Seattle, we have had very limited interaction on this aircraft with Air Canada or Boeing. There has not been a lot of information to come forward as there is not a lot of movement with the aircraft. We are committed in our position that the aircraft must be safe and introduced with all concerns addressed. We are aware of new concerns that have come out in the media and have them noted to ensure we are aware and advised. Once we are fully briefed and updated, we will keep all advised.

Study on the Aircraft Certification Process
Recently, we were contacted by the House of Commons Standing Committee for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to appear before the Committee in view of its study of the aircraft certification process. This is a great opportunity to give our view on the process and to answer any of the questions the Committee has. I along with Theresa Mitchell, Vice-President, will appear before the committee on March 24, 2020.

Grievance Blitz In YYZ
Often the Union and the Company will meet to go through multiple outstanding individual grievances. They can range from minor discipline to multiple day suspensions to scope work grievances. In February, we started the year off with a productive day filled with 25 grievances. These grievances are dealt with between the Union and Company, and exclude internal or external council. This is a great benefit in moving cases forward, concluding ongoing cases and ensuring the members are represented in a more timely manner.

Mainline/Rouge Grievances
Since January 2020, the Component has filed two policy grievances for Mainline 1.) CHQ-20-07 – LOU 22.01 (Dubai-Change to Scheduled Pairing Extension) and 2.) CHQ-20-08 – Globe Information System (Discrepancies). For Rouge, one policy grievance has been filed CHQ-rouge-20-03 – Abuse of Management Rights – Failure to Adhere to Safety and Security Protocol. As far as terminations and SPD’s, so far Mainline has had 7 and Rouge has had 5.

Unreasonable Service Levels – CHQ-19-63
In order to find a resolve and have real time factual data to mitigate a resolution to the policy grievance, CHQ-19-63 unreasonable service level increase, the Union has asked the Company to engage in a time and motion study to get a true snapshot of our members duties from check-in to check-out.

Bargaining Mediation Update
As we notified the membership back in December, the ninety (90) day period of direct bargaining with Air Canada concluded as an agreement could not be reached at this stage. We now will head into the mediation phase of the 2019 reopener to see if Vince Ready, our mediator/arbitrator will be able to bridge the gap between the Company and Union. We currently have dates scheduled with the mediator to start this next phase of the 2019 reopener for the end of March. We completely understand this process seems to be taking awhile longer than what we have been accustom to, the facts are the “re-opener” is a unique, new process that was introduced in 2015 and something we have not ever had previously. We are moving forward with it, and will keep all updated.

Cathay Pacific Vancouver Base Closure
We were just made aware on March 5, 2020 that Cathay Pacific will close its Vancouver base. This comes during a period of challenges in the bargaining process as well as the Coronavirus. The Vancouver base was the last cabin crew base in Canada after the airline closed the Toronto base in 2019. We wish our brothers and sisters at Cathay all the best in these challenging times and hope they will be brought on with future openings throughout the industry.

Coronavirus – What happens if I was on a flight with a confirmed case?
This question comes up often, daily and is completely valid. The Company will notify the Health and Safety Committee along with myself. Once we are notified the Company will reach out to the crew involved. Members are then advised the date of the incident and that they will be released, pay protected, and off for 14 days. The 14 days is the date from when the incident occurred. It is crucial that if you are showing any signs during this time that you self monitor and self report. The Company has been supportive and on top of reporting the information when advised. This is the same process at Mainline as it is at Rouge.

I want to also point out that your Local Health and Safety Committees, at Rouge and Mainline as well as your Component Chairperson, Jordan Bray-Stone, have been extremely busy with members and the Company with this virus, they have all been excellent communicators internally and Jordan has kept the Component Officers and CUPE National appraised of all situations. This has been great to see and a benefit to all members, thank you.

Vancouver Meet and Greet
The Union is very happy to start up with our quarterly ACCEX meetings, and with that comes the meet and greets for you. We will be in Vancouver, and having a “open door” meet and greet for all members, Mainline and Rouge. Everyone is welcome and we do expect many members to come out, as there are many pressing issues out there. Please come out, bring your questions and concerns and we will be available to discuss. The meet and greet is taking place at the Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver (1000 Burrard St, in Vancouver) on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm (PST), in the Port McNeill Room.

Union Position – Scope Work
It is important that everyone on the aircraft understands the boundaries of their work and not to impede on another unionized workforce’s job description. Our scope work consists of everything from safety onboard the aircraft to the service that is provided to passengers. Remember OBSMs are there for support and guidance, not to perform our duties. If someone is not part of our CUPE bargaining unit and are performing duties that fall within our scope of work, politely ask them to stop. If they continue, please note all the details and advise your Local Union office.

In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

Coronavirus Update 14

As the Coronavirus has slowly been changing our day to day lives, both at work and within our communities, your Union has reached out to Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, and Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, to seek clarification with the handling from the Government’s side.  A copy of this letter can be found below, or by clicking HERE.


We will keep you informed on any changes and replies we receive.

In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

ACCEX Meet & Greet in YVR

ACCEX will be in Vancouver (YVR) for Component Executive meetings at the end of March and will be holding a membership town hall meeting at the Sheraton Wall Centre Vancouver (1000 Burrard St, in Vancouver) on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm (PST), in the Port McNeill Room. This is an opportunity for all members (Mainline & Rouge), from all bases, to drop by and ask any questions you may have and to get feedback about the issues you encounter while at work, on a daily basis.

In solidarity,