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

COVID-19 & The Right To Refuse Dangerous Work

COVID-19 has resulted in a high demand for information on the right to refuse dangerous work. Please take note that work refusals are intended to be a last resort.

It is highly advised, if possible, to file a health and safety complaint and follow up via email with a manager to attempt to resolve your concern PRIOR to arriving at work. This does not reduce or remove your right to refuse dangerous work. What it does is provide the employer extra time to try to fix the issue at the root of your concern, which is beneficial to everyone.

  • You can file a health and safety complaint by logging into ACAeronet > Safety > Submit a report/SIMS at Mainline or by logging into AQD at Rouge.
  • The company may be experiencing a high volume of reports, so we suggest following up with a manager regarding your formal complaint via phone or email
  • Let the Union know

Please take note:

  • YOU NEED TO BE AT WORK TO REFUSE and it needs to be in good faith.
  • STEP 1 is between yourself and the company – As per the Canada Labour Code the Union will not be present at this stage.
  • STEP 1 does not go on indefinitely. If the company is unable to resolve your concern and you still believe you’re in danger you may move on to step 2 at which point your union H&S reps will be involved alongside their management colleagues from the joint H&S committee (see bulletin mentioned below for details).
  • NO ONE except for a safety official from Transport Canada or Employment Social Development Canada can tell you there is no danger (including making a decision about imminent or serious threat). Nor can anyone except such an official force you to go back to work.
  • You cannot be threatened or disciplined.
  • You do not lose pay (reassignment may apply)
  • You have a right to be present for every part of the investigation including any conversations with other departments and any experts.

The Union’s work refusal bulletin contains more details and can be obtained by sending a blank email to We recommend that it be consulted in conjunction with the information in your manual at the end of chapter 2.

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee