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

OBSM/Mentor Program

As the Union is working through the many logistics of the pending “Off Duty Status” of 5,100 of our members at both Mainline and Rouge, we are also hearing you loud and clear that you are as confused as the Union is with regards to the fact that the OBSMs and Mentors are still being placed on our aircraft. They are continuing to mingle amongst us, at a time when social distancing should be a high priority.

Let the Union be clear, we do not represent the OBSMs, nor do we endorse the program.  At a time like this, we see little value to them being onboard to offer “support”.  What support can they possibly offer that our highly skilled cabin crew can not?  Why would we want, at this time, to have them interacting with our customers?  We should be focussing on the wellbeing of each other, limiting contact and practising safety first and always.

Now is not the time to be augmenting crews, adding unneeded “assistance” on board or at layover points.  This is the time to remove the programs and move forward with what we do best, SAFETY.

We were just made aware today that there are no longer Mentors onboard as of tomorrow at Rouge.

We would hope, with all we are facing, that Mainline will follow suit and remove them from our environment, remove them as the face to our passengers, and make safety and social distancing a priority in the face of this pandemic.

On March 16, 2020 Calin Rovinescu identified all of the efforts that the company is making to offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. He confirmed that there would be a Cost Reduction Program which would include among many other things, but not be limited to: “Workplace reductions and other programs, including freezing hiring in all branches immediately”.

The Union’s position is that common sense will prevail and a re-evaluation of the current OBSM program will be among them. As a practical reality there is no value to have OBSMs travelling throughout the system and offering support to our members currently facing massive job reductions, specially when they have no functional role onboard. We will continue to impress upon the Company in no uncertain terms why it makes sense to reconsider the OBSM Program under the circumstances.

In the interim we encourage you to reach out to management and to express your thoughts.  To do so you can post your thoughts on Yammer as well as using other means to reach out.  What we need during this critical time is meaningful support, equipment and resources to protect us and to ensure that our Health and Safety are the primary concern.

You have been working on the front lines and are acutely aware of what is sorely needed to sustain us through this difficult time.   In our view, the OBSMs’ oversight/support is not among them.

In closing we would like to leave you with two comments that speak loudly.  This is in regards to the type of support being offered by the company’s OBSMs:

“How can we be trained to thwart a hijacking, save a life and live on a life raft till rescued but be too helpless to find food and shelter on a layover?”

“How are we to feel supported by someone who until very recently had a job description of demotion and firing? Or are we to suddenly develop Stockholm Syndrome?”

In solidarity,