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

Hong Kong Update

As protests and civil unrest continue in Hong Kong the Union contracted a security expert to provide a threat risk assessment for this layover.

To date Global Affairs Canada has not issued a travel advisory against Travel.

The Union has been advised that the location of the temporary hotel provides a superior level of safety to crews.

At this time the Union has been advised that it’s members should take certain extra precautions:

·       Refrain from taking any photographs or video footage while in Hong Kong. Do not take any images of local events (especially civil unrest).
·       Be aware that Westerners may be targeted by protesters to get their messages out to the world. As a result, Westerners may be targeted by local law enforcement or security forces for appearing to collaborate with protesters.
·       Be aware that regardless of your background and proficiency in local language and culture, you will be perceived as a Westerner. This includes those with family in Hong Kong.
·       Remain at the hotel if possible. This provides the highest degree of safety and avoids the possibility of becoming an unwitting target of protesters or police.
·       Do not engage in any political discussion or commentary between yourselves or with anyone else about the current events while on layover.
·       Do not send emails or other electronic messages back home regarding local events (especially civil unrest).
·       Advise or leave a message for the in-charge if you intend to leave the layover property.

General Precautions:

When travelling to countries in a time of heated politics your union recommends the following:

– Visit the Global Affairs website regularly, or download the government’s Travel Smart app. For your convenience we have provided the links below.

– Make sure to read your company communications to remain aware of any potential operational changes.

– Ensure to let someone from your crew know where you are when you go out, or leave a note in your room. Follow company procedures if you expect to be away from the hotel for an extended period of time.

– Should a serious event occur while on layover, ensure to contact the company via crew scheduling as soon as possible to advise of your status.

– Practice good “street smarts” while on layover: Avoid large gatherings and protests, avoid government buildings or locations of political or touristic significance , avoid politically provocative conversation , follow the advice and guidance of local authorities, try to remain aware of the local news while on layover. If in doubt about any local safety issues, consulting the hotel staff can be helpful.

Your union and its many resources remain at your disposal. We have included links to the Global Affairs Canada Hong Kong info page which you may want to download or print, as well as a link to the Global Affairs Canada App (see below). In the event that you are, or were affected by civil unrest in Hong Kong, please note that injury on duty includes resulting stress related to such potentially traumatic events. Should this be the case please contact the Union.

If you have any further questions or concerns with regards to operating in and out of Hong Kong, please reach out to your Local Union office for guidance.

Global Affairs Hong Kong Page:

Travel Smart App:

Union Resources: for a copy of the Union’s Layover Safety Guide

CUPE 2019 Agenda includes a copy of the Layover Safety Guide and important contacts to reach the Union any time

In solidarity,

Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee