We have spent the past two days attempting to work with the Employer on a mitigation plan, that would include an SPLOA with weekly Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) payments. Furthermore, your Union asserted that all members facing layoff should receive the weekly CEWS payments.
Although we fully support targeted airline financial assistance from the federal government, we are quite frankly enraged that our Employer is refusing to access the current funding available to specifically help our members. We cannot understand why they choose not to participate in the CEWS, yet all other major airlines in Canada are making it work for their inactive workforce. WestJet, Swoop, Encore, Sunwing, and Air Transat have continued to make use of the CEWS program since the spring 2020 because they know it is the right thing to do for their Employees and their families.
Air Canada has consistently requested that our members write letters to the Federal Government to plead their case for financial assistance. You all have assisted your Employer in many ways and yet your Employer refuses to assist you in your time of need. It appears to us that our members are being used as pawns in a game of Tug-of-War with the government.
We have heard that CEWS is “very expensive” to the airlines. We have heard that maintaining benefits, pension and accruing vacation was too costly. Your Union requested many different forms of CEWS. We looked at all options with the Employer to get money in your pocket through CEWS.
Air Canada has continually stated that CEWS is a short-term solution. If this is anticipated to be a short-term mitigation, then why not offer a short-term CEWS leave?
Although the Company refused CEWS, they will be moving forward with the mitigation as outlined in the Collective Agreement. Please see below some general information and important dates:
The Company will be releasing its mitigation package later this evening or tomorrow morning. The selection process will be open until Monday, January 18, 2021 at 08:00 EST.
The Options available to members at Mainline and Rouge are as follows:
- Resignation with C3 Travel and Benefits Programs
- 3-month Special Leaves of Absence (February 2021 to April 2021 inclusive)
- 3-month Reduced Block Program (February 2021 to April 2021 inclusive)
|All members are eligible to bid on the Mitigation Programs; however Special Leaves of Absences and Reduced Block Programs will be awarded by seniority to those who would otherwise not be placed on Layoff Status. Meaning, you cannot hold an SPLOA or RBP program if you are not able to hold flying for February 2021. Those members on COVID Leaves may bid for a mitigation SPLOA.|
Once the mitigation program is complete, those members deemed surplus will receive layoff notices by January 20, 2021 at 23:00 EST. It is our understanding that the planned flying will be built around the remaining members’ home bases. This includes all four Mainline bases and both Rouge bases.
Recalls from layoff status are done in order of master seniority regardless of originating airline as per Article 17.16 of the Collective Agreement. Recall rights for both Mainline and Rouge are for five (5) years from the date of layoff.
Once again, our members continue to bear the brunt of the continued setbacks that the airline industry is facing. These upcoming layoffs are a direct result of the federal government’s lack of action to support the industry. The very least our employer could do is take part in the programs being offered to support our members.