Coronavirus Update 3

In our continued efforts to inform you about the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus please note the following updates:

AC Employee Town Hall

The company will be holding a call-in event with Sam Elfassy, VP, Safety, Dr. Jim Chung, Chief Medical Officer, as well as it’s third-party consultant in infectious diseases.

Time 16:00 EST 28JAN2020  
Call details also available in the AC Life app
Toll-free (Canada/US):             1-800-898-3989
International dial-in numbers:
Participant passcode:              5971717#

Union Efforts

  • Your Component Health & Safety Committee and Executive team continue to take your concerns, comments and questions to the company for follow-up. Please keep writing to us at and also filing a health and safety complaint with the company when appropriate (ACAeronet > safety > submit a report/SIMS at mainline or in AQD at Rouge). This is very important as it enters the concern into the company’s health & safety database and stats used by both management and your health and safety committees.
  • The Air Canada Component is also organizing an all-AC-union safety call to discuss this issue with the other departments that you may interact with on a daily basis at work. We’re all in this together and communication and sharing of information and experiences is key to best representing you.

Company Measures

  • A reminder that extra masks, gloves and anti-septic wipes are boarded on all flights to Mainland China. Provisions are double-catered out of Canada so please keep this in mind out of consideration for the return crew. Regular allotment of Masks, gloves and wipes are boarded on all other flights. This is being assessed by the company on a daily basis and may change if necessary.
  • Extra masks and small bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer are provisioned in the crew centres.
  • Regardless of destination, you can use your company provided PPE (gloves, masks), or your own mask without fear of discipline in all classes of service. (see CUPE fact sheet on respiratory protection)
  • The Union has been informed that should a passenger be found to have the Wuhan Coronavirus, the Public Health Agency of Canada will notify the company, and any affected employees will be promptly advised.
  • If you have concerns about flying to mainland China, inform crew scheduling or speak to a manager. The scheduler may transfer you to a manager. The company has been accommodating employees. This currently extends only to flights to/from mainland China.
  • If you have concerns about flying to another destination, we encourage you to speak to a safety manager (or ask crew scheduling to put you in touch with one) and explain your worries. Should accommodation not be offered, know that every employee always retains their individual right to refuse dangerous work as outlined at the end of Chapter 2 in your FAM/PUB. The Union also has a bulletin you can download by emailing .


While it is the employer’s responsibility to educate, train and provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to its employees, in light of the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus, the Union would like to remind you of certain basic principles that we all sometimes forget.

Avoiding these mistakes can spell the difference between your PPE actually protecting you or simply becoming a false sense of security.


  • The wearing of gloves does not relieve the need for proper hand hygiene.
  • You should wash your hands prior to wearing, and definitely after removal with water and soap. You may use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if this is not possible.
  • Used gloves should be treated as contaminated: DO NOT touch other surfaces or equipment with them.
  • Once used ensure proper removal and wash your hands with water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


Face mask:

see CUPE fact sheet on respiratory protection

  • Secure ties or elastic bands at the middle of the head and neck
  • Flexible band should fit over the bridge of the nose
  • Face mask should fit snug to the face and below the chin.

  • Remove the mask by grasping the bottom ties or elastic bands, then the top ones.
  • Lift away from the face without touching the front and discard.


In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

Coronavirus Update 2

Some of you have reached out wondering if you should seek the advice of a medical professional. As is common at this time of the year, hospital emergency rooms and walk-in clinics are often at capacity with patients suffering from influenza, the common cold, and other seasonal illnesses.

Your Component Health and Safety Committee would like to raise awareness of the provincial health lines that remain at your disposal 24/7, and which may be a useful tool to gain the information you seek.

As is always the case, these provincial resources are not for emergencies and do not replace an in-person consultation with a medical professional. They do however put you in direct contact with a registered nurse, and are designed to help you decide if a physical visit is both necessary and beneficial.

We wish to remind you that if you are flying to China, should you have concerns about operating a flight, please speak to crew scheduling, or your base manager explaining to them your issue. The company has been accommodating concerned employees.

China is the only destination where the Company is offering accommodation.

We also issue a further reminder that if you have a personal N95 mask, these are designed for personal use, they are not to be shared with passengers.

HealthLink BC
Tel: 8-1-1

HealthLink BC is as close as your phone or the web any time of the day or night, every day of the year.
Call 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or call 7-1-1 for the deaf and the hard of hearing toll-free in B.C.
You can speak with a health service navigator, who can also connect you with a:

  • registered nurse any time, every day of the year;
  • registered dietitian from 9am to 5pm Pacific Time, Monday to Friday;
  • qualified exercise professional from 9am to 5pm Pacific Time, Monday to Friday;
  • pharmacist from 5pm to 9am Pacific Time every day of the year.

Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
Please note that we are unable to provide general health information or advice about symptoms by email. For general health information or symptom advice, please call us at 8-1-1 any time of the day or night.

Alberta HealthLink
Tel: 8-1-1

Do you have a health concern for yourself or a child? Call Health Link by dialing 811 for quick and easy advice from a registered nurse 24/7.
The top three reasons people called Health Link last year:

  1. respiratory problems
  2. contagious diseases
  3. injuries/trauma

Telehealth Ontario
Tel: 1-866-797-0000

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Telehealth Ontario is only offered over the phone. Email advice is not available.

How it works
When you call, a Registered Nurse will ask you to answer questions so they can assess your health problem and give you advice.
Telehealth Ontario nurses will not diagnose your illness or give you medicine. They will direct you to the most appropriate level of care or may put you in contact with a health professional who can advise you on your next steps.
The nurse will help you decide whether to:

  • handle a problem yourself
  • visit your doctor or nurse practitioner
  • go to a clinic
  • contact a community service
  • go to a hospital emergency room

Who can call
Anyone can call Telehealth Ontario to ask a health-related question. This service is:

  • confidential – you may be asked to provide your health card number, but it is not required
  • provided in both English and French, with translation support for some other languages
  • free for all users

What you can ask
You can contact Telehealth Ontario when you have health-related questions or concerns about:

  • illness or injury that may need medical care
  • illnesses that don’t go away or keep coming back
  • support available to help you quit smoking
  • food and healthy eating (you will be connected to a registered dietitian)
  • teen health and issues
  • depression, suicide or other mental health concerns
  • breastfeeding
  • refugee health supports
  • medical assistance in dying supports

Tel: 8-1-1

Info-Santé 811 is a free and confidential telephone consultation service.
811 is the only telephone number for this service. Dialling 811 promptly puts you in contact with a nurse in case of a non-urgent health issue. However, in the event of a serious problem or emergency, it is important to dial 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room.

The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Anyone living in Québec can call Info-Santé 811 for themselves or a family member.
Info-Santé 811 nurses evaluate your health situation and give advice based on your condition.They can answer your questions about your health and direct you to the most appropriate resource in your region. Calling Info-Santé 811 often helps avoid going to a medical clinic or emergency room.

In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

Coronavirus Update 1

Many of our Mainline and Rouge members have reached out over the last few days with concerns about the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus. As you know, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and it has taken some time to prepare this bulletin as the information has continually been updated with communication and calls with Air Canada Labour.

• Extra gloves, sanitizer wipes, and surgical masks are being boarded on flights and you are permitted to use your PPE as needed in all classes of service.
o Some employees may prefer to use their own N95 mask, which may provide some benefits in terms of fit, which can affect protection. (see CUPE fact sheet on respiratory protection)
• Hand sanitizer bottles are being provisioned in the crew centres for you to take.
• Remember that eye-shields are available in the UPK kits. This can protect your eyes in the event you must engage in prolonged close contact with an ill passenger.
• Frequent hand-washing with warm water remains the most effective way to prevent illness.
• Remember that PPE is only as good as your hygiene habits:
o Gloves must be removed and disposed of properly. Touching your face with gloves is as bad as with bare hands. You should wash your hands after removal.
o Masks should not be re-used once removed.
• Please review your suspected communicable disease section from your FAM/PUB chapter 6.
• Please remain aware and review your globe bulletins.

What has the Union been doing?
Over the past week your Component Health & Safety team and executive have:
• As a result of your comments, we have advocated for more onboard tools as well as information about what actions are being taken by each department to protect employees. We believe that is important, since it is one of our members’ three fundamental rights to know. This was provided in company Update#2, and extra supplies have been boarded on flights to China for the past three days.
• Also, as a result of your comments, we have advocated for greater information about what the company is doing to protect its employees, its plans and about the virus itself. The company began this discussion in Update#3 posted on 23JAN20 which also included external links.
• Met on 24JAN20 with corporate safety to discuss the company’s actions so far, inquire about their third-party advisory service and to outline a need for greater dialogue and updates from the company, in order to best represent you. As of 24JAN20 the Policy Committee will be holding daily calls, including weekends, where your representatives will be provided the latest updates and have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to the employer.
• The Union Health & Safety committee has been in contact with ACPA, as in many cases the one-crew concept and CRM may be required in order to address onboard concerns. It is best that both our groups are on the same page.
• The Union has also been in touch with our American counterparts to exchange resources.

Things the Union continues to pursue:
• Options for service which could further reduce potential exposure to our members.
• Re-enforcement and reminders of procedures for communicable diseases, ideally in briefings.
• Re-enforcement and reminders of proper use of protective equipment, ideally in briefings.

What can you do?
If you or your colleagues have concerns about operating, the best place to start is to remain informed about the virus:
• CUPE National Health and Safety has developed a general fact sheet aimed at its general 600K+ membership. You can access it by clicking HERE.
• The New York Times has some excellent objective reporting.
• The World Health Organization: .
• The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: .
• The Public Health Agency of Canada:
• Global Affairs Canada:

Know the tools that you already have at your disposal. Many members have expressed frustration at not having things which are actually present onboard or exist in our procedures:
• UPK Kit: includes a Face shield to protect your eyes during prolonged close contact with an ill passenger.
• Glycerine soap – useful when lavs are occupied and doesn’t dry out your skin.
• Gloves for pickup (extra on China flights)
• Surgical masks (also important for use on ill passengers – extra on China flights)
• Ability to wear you own mask, or a company mask (see CUPE fact sheet on respiratory protection)
• Access to StatMD for guidance
• Procedures for dealing with Suspected Communicable Disease FAM/PUB Chapter 6.

What if you don’t feel comfortable operating?
If you don’t feel comfortable operating the company has been very good at addressing concerns of employees on a case-by-case basis. You should call crew scheduling and explain that you have concerns about operating your flight due to Wuhan Coronavirus. You may be referred to speak with your safety manager in order to arrange alternate duties – This is normal.

Should they not be resolved, every employee always has their individual right to refuse dangerous work, as referenced as the end of chapter 2 in the FAM and in the Union’s bulletin which can be access by emailing

Write to the Union and Report to the company!
We are committed to representing you but can’t do it alone. As we will be speaking to the company on a daily basis, your comments, questions and concerns will be that much more important over the coming days.

We cannot stress the importance of communicating your concerns, questions and frustrations directly to the union by emailing, but also by filing a health and safety complaint with the company (ACAeronet > safety > submit a report/SIMS at mainline or in AQD at Rouge). This is very important as it enters the concern into the company’s health & safety database and stats used by both management and your health and safety committees.

In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

President’s Update – January 2020

Rouge Adjusted Seniority Dates 
The Union was recently made aware that many of our Rouge to Mainline flow through members had their service dates adjusted, and in doing so their allotted vacation was reduced.  We have seen this primarily during the January 2020 block month.  If you were a flow through member, and had vacation allotted once you flowed to Mainline, please verify your pay summary for the month you had your vacation, or if your vacation is in the current January 2020 block month, verify your MMG in Globe for accuracy.  If you see any discrepancy or issues in pay, please contact your Local office immediately.  We have been in discussions with planning and they are working through this now but, to ensure we capture anyone that had issues, we encourage you to contact your local.

C1 Passes – Christmas & New Year’s 
If you were on reserve duty or were on duty as a block holder on December 25th or January 1st, you are entitled to a Holiday Pass as per the Collective Agreement. This will be uploaded to your Employee Travel Profile sometime in January.  We encourage you to verify and ensure that you received your allotment.  If you have any concerns, please reach out.

DBX Flights – Crew Breaks (LOU 22A) 
For the month of January 2020, the DBX pairings were adjusted to LOU 22A from LOU 18.  With it now operating as an LOU 22A there is an additional crew member and new break entitlements:

L22.05.01 On duty periods of 16:16 to 17:10 hours, the on board crew rest will be three hours and thirty minutes (3:30) consecutive for each cabin crew member.  Meal breaks are to be taken separately.

On duty periods of 17:11 to 18:00 hours, the on board crew rest will be four consecutive hours (4:00) for each cabin crew member.  Meal breaks are to be taken separately.

Please note, in addition to the above 3:30 and 4:00 crew breaks, you are entitled to an additional 30 minutes, as per LOU 60:

L60.04.06 An additional thirty (30) minutes of on board crew rest will be applied to LOU 18, LOU 22A and LOU 22B flights.

So for clarity, the crew rest will be set at 4:00, unless the duty period goes above 17:11, then it will be 4:30.  This is a contractual right, please report if you are not able to take your break or are being denied the right to take your break.

Open Component Positions  
The Component currently has the following Committee Chairperson positions open, if you are interested please email

– Component Bilingual Committee Chair. Click HERE to view the Mandate for this committee.

– Component Pink Triangle Committee Chair. Click HERE to view the Mandate for this committee.

The recent trustee nominations have closed and at this time no nominations were received.  As there is one Component Trustee position vacant, the Tabulating Committee will be sending out a further call for nominations shortly.

Rouge Labour Relations and UMHQ

Now that bargaining has ceased, the Rouge Labour Relations meetings with the company will resume.  These meetings are held with your Local Union Presidents and Component Officers where required.  This is an opportunity for both the Company and the Union to raise issues with their counterparts, along with their respective groups or executive bodies.  This is typically paused during bargaining, and as we wait to move to the mediation stage, both sides wanted to get this process back on track for the go forward.

Terminations To Date

So far in 2020, the Union has filed five termination / Suspension Pending Discharge (SPD) grievances – three for mainline and two for Rouge.  As is the case with all terminations / SPDs, your Union always moves forward with the grievance, from the Component level, in as quick a matter as possible.  We closed off 2019 with 38 Terminations / SPDs at Mainline and 61 Terminations / SPDs at Rouge.

National Transportation Committee

I have recently been appointed by Brother Marc Hancock to serve on the National Transportation Committee within CUPE National.  To view more on the National Transportation Committee, please click HERE.  This committee represents all forms of transportation, with airlines being one of the largest.  Having a voice at this table for any lobby efforts, reviews on government initiatives affecting our sector, as well as being able to align with various other transportation groups dealing with many of our issues will only be able to assist in our fights dealing with fatigue, health and safety, hours of work, “crew rest minimums” and more.


We are currently waiting on the company to advise us on the mediator for the next stage of this process.  Once the Union has more information on the next stages, dates and locations, we will advise the membership.

China Flu
Many of you have reached out to us over the past few days with understandable concerns about the Wuhan Coronavirus. Since the initial reports the Union has been requesting updates from the company, urging them to provide details regarding how they intend to address safety and health concerns for our members.

Your Executive and Health and Safety Reps are also examining the Union’s archives for responses to similar events from the past, and have been in regular contact with our advisors at CUPE National so that we can issue useful information to our members.

Some of you have expressed concern that the Union has “agreed” to no masks or to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach. We assure you that is not the case. Your team has been steadfast in advocating for increased levels of personal protective equipment including N95 masks. We remain in discussion with the company on this matter.  You are permitted to wear gloves when dealing with pick up and passengers that appear ill.

Should you have concerns about operating a flight, please speak to crew scheduling, or your base manager explaining to them your issue. The company has been accommodating concerned employees.

Lastly, please keep the Union in the loop about your concerns, comments and frustrations. It is essential that we get these so that we are able to accurately represent you. Also, don’t forget to file a health and safety complaint if necessary! ACAeronet > Safety > Submit a report/SIMS.

The Company has been briefing the Union on the status of the situation on the labour side as recently as yesterday afternoon.  Aircraft will be provisioned with extra masks, gloves and sanitary wipes.  The Company and the Union have a vested interest in maintaining the health of our members and we will ensure we are kept up to date as this moves forward.

Seniority Lists – Mainline and Rouge

Please note the following language is applicable to both Mainline and Rouge.  We always advise you to take a quick look to ensure your seniority is correct on the published list.  This should be made available in all Comm Centres, via Globe and put out to both Mainline and Rouge prior to February 1, 2020.  If you see an error or omission, please ensure you contact the Union immediately so it can be reviewed.

16.08.04 Prior to February 1st in any year, Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge shall post, at each Air Canada Mainline Cabin Personnel Base and at each Air Canada Rouge Base, a copy of the Flight Attendant and In-Charge seniority lists applicable to Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge indicating the respective seniority of each employee within his/her classification as of January 1st in that year, as well as a copy of the Master Cabin Personnel Seniority List.
16.08.05 Prior to March 1st in that year, an employee may protest, in writing, to Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge (as applicable) any error or omission affecting his/her seniority.
16.08.06 Prior to April 1st, the revised lists indicating any changes resulting from any protest found valid shall be posted.
16.08.07 Prior to May 1st, any employee whose seniority was affected by any change made to the initial seniority list may protest, in writing, to the Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge (as applicable) with a copy to the Component President of the Union.
16.08.08 Prior to June 1st, the final seniority lists, which will be conclusive of Cabin Personnel seniority as of January 1st in that year shall be posted.

One final shout out needs to be made to all of the Belfield Office Staff, the Mobilization and Engagement Committee Chair Nicola Schnell, our Component Vice President Theresa Mitchell, and Component Secretary-Treasurer Alex Habib, for all of the tireless hours they have put in to get us one of the most functional websites and Facebook pages that we have seen at the Component level, as well as developing our first ever APP and Instagram account.  Much information will be added to all of these platforms, which can be found at the links below, over the coming months to keep everyone as up to date as possible.  We really encourage all of you to download the APP for immediate updates and easy reference tools.

APP: IOS (Apple) download
Android download

Thank you again for all the follow up emails, communication and dedication to YOUR union.  Without a strong membership base, we would not be where we are today, and with all the new communication tools out there, we are trying to make it easier to continue with the great two-way communication.

Wishing everyone an amazing 2020,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

Staying In Touch When You Need Us The Most

As part of our promise to increase open communication to our members we are proud to introduce the first Air Canada Component App and Instagram page!

We want to hear from you.  If you have any suggestions to make the app more user friendly or if there is information that you would like to see added please let us know. Send an email to and we will make sure to review your suggestions.

We are consistently updating our information to help you stay abreast of legal proceedings, arbitrations, block rules, reserve rules, disability claims and the many grievances that wind their way through the process daily. Of special note is the Contact and Resource section. Our members have built up their power through official reporting to the union this term in unprecedented numbers and we are very happy to work for you. Everything you report gives us the ability to make positive change. The launch of the app along with our website will give you even more tools.

You can download the app here:
IOS download
Android download

Your login information for our new mobile app is the same as your login for the Air Canada Component website, which can be found at  If you have not signed in to the website since we updated it in 2019 you will need a password, which can be obtained by clicking on the “Forgot Your Password” link at the bottom of the website’s sign in section.

We recommend that you allow push notifications to enhance your use of the app and to ensure that you are always up to date.

The Instagram account is aircanadacomponent. We want the Instagram page to be a fun place where you can share the world with your colleagues! Send us your pictures of amazing places to eat, shop, and explore, showcasing incredible crews doing what they love. Stay tuned and maybe you will discover a new and exciting place to bid or to go on vacation.

On behalf of the Component Executive, we would like to thank the membership for your continued support and positive feedback. We feel privileged to represent our members and want to do all we can to continue to build our solidarity. Our strength lies in continued communication and collaboration and we believe that 2020 is the year that we will collectively accomplish our goals and have a strong and unified membership.

In solidarity,