days until our Collective Agreement expires, we are preparing, we are united and we will make change.

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