Today, in my capacity as Airline Division President, I wrote to Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu, on behalf of the over 15,000 flight attendants, represented by CUPE at nine different airlines across Canada, regarding the news of multiple effective COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon.
I implored her to ask that the government consider flight attendants as “those contributing to the maintenance of other essential services for the functioning of society” and “those whose living or working conditions put them at elevated risk of infection” under the government’s Preliminary guidance on key populations for early COVID-19 immunization.
It is important for the government to acknowledge the fact that flight attendants were some of the first in Canada to encounter and become infected with COVID-19 in the workplace. Since the beginning of the pandemic, flight attendants have performed essential work under extremely trying circumstances. We answered the government’s call to bring Canadians home from abroad, in spite of the personal risks involved. Flight attendants have performed a vital role in keeping this critical industry in the air.
Flight attendants clearly meet the government’s stated criteria for early immunization and it is important that they consider this information as they determine their priorities for early immunization.
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE