The Company informed the Union yesterday evening that a customer who travelled from YUL-YVR on February 14, 2020 was subsequently found to have the COVID-19 virus. Upon receiving notification, the Union immediately reached out to the crew directly affected to offer support.
While the Company’s bulletin regarding the positive COVID-19 case on a YUL-YVR flight February 14, 2020 was quite detailed, we have heard from a number of you and will be following up for further clarification on the following:
· Some members have expressed concern about the 8 day delay and we are following up (It should be noted that notification delays are common for any contagious disease due to the labour-intensive nature of contact tracing conducted by public health authorities).
· Concerns have been raised about the grooming of this aircraft.
· Concerns have been raised about crew who may have operated subsequent flights.
At this time, we wish to remind our members of the following:
· You may wear personal protective equipment (including your own mask) when required.
o PPE can be found in the Satchel (gloves, surgical masks, surface disinfectant wipes and small hand disinfectant wipes), first aid kits (gloves, eye shield and surgical mask in UPK kit), medication kit (gloves, surgical masks).
· Remember that the UPK kits contain eye shields which may be used if engaging in close contact with a passenger displaying symptoms of a suspected communicable disease similar to COVID-19.
· It is crucial to be familiar with and follow proper SOP’s for suspected communicable disease from Chapter 6.5 of your FAM/PUB.
· The Company has committed to only flying aircraft with running water on international routes, and that sufficient bottled water and extra disinfectant wipes will be boarded on all other flights if water systems are partially or fully inoperative.
The Union’s position is that given the importance of proper handwashing with soap and water, no aircraft should be dispatched with a fully inoperative water system. Should this be the case, please notify the Union by emailing email@example.com. For any concerns related to potable water, please file a health and safety complaint, contact your safety manager, and ensure the Union is aware.
Lastly, members have asked about work refusals. It is every employee’s individual right to refuse work if they believe their workplaces them or someone else is in danger. Danger means any hazard, condition or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent OR serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it before you the hazard or condition can be corrected, or the activity altered. (CLC PartII 122. (1))
Information about the right to refuse dangerous work can be found at the end of Chapter 2 of your FAM/PUB, and by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . We strongly recommend consulting both the Company and Union documentation in order to fully understand the process.
· Crew scheduling is the point of contact to initiate a work refusal.
· Step 1 is between the refusing employee and Company representative (The Union will not be involved unless the Company denies your right to refuse). Should the Company be unable to resolve your concerns at step 1, you may continue your individual refusal to step 2 which involves your joint workplace health and safety committee (Union + management).
· A work refusal does not result in discipline as long as it is made in good faith, nor do you lose pay. However, once no longer required for the investigation, pay protection according to the Collective Agreement applies which includes reassignment.
· The Company cannot deny a work refusal, nor declare the non-existence of danger. Only an official from the Federal Labour Program designated by the Minister may make a final decision of danger or no danger. Only such a government official can force an employee back to work.
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE