Earlier this week the Union was advised that Air Canada will be calling a large group of members in to discuss their “Overall Attendance”. We were shocked and dismayed to learn that the Company has called in over 40 probationary members at the Vancouver base. The Union believes the Company failed to adhere to the Collective Agreement and advise the alleged misdemeanor for these meetings and instead they grouped them all as “Overall Attendance”.
The Union reached out and advised that this gave the member no understanding of the “issue” and that the employer should be more specific to allow the member an opportunity to best recollect the alleged incident and be mentally prepared in the meeting. The Union was advised late last night that the letters were changed and once received, we noted they now stated “Overall Attendance (time frame – June 01st – September 10th)”.
The Company is well within their right to meet with their employees, but they should do it in a respectful, non-confrontational, and a more open and transparent process. There is nothing more alarming and concerning to any employee, especially one on probation, than to come to work one day and get a letter regarding a meeting with no information.
What is more concerning is the fact that some members had one book off during this period, and the only way the Union was able to figure out the “overall attendance” issue was to do the research themselves. The Company is calling the members in, they know why, what is the reason they cannot share this in advance to lesson the worry and angst the members are now feeling?
We have heard the company speak on more than one occasion about employee engagement. It seems counterproductive to their goal of employee engagement to be haranguing new employees. It is our opinion that an initiative such as this will only serve to lower the morale of all probationary employees. A culture of fear serves no employer in the long run and has zero benefit.
The Union is left wondering why this is necessary and why employee morale is yet again taking an unneeded hit with a poorly executed 7 days of nonstop performance meetings.
The Vancouver Local will have the full backing of the Executive Board and the Grievance Committee. We will review each performance meeting that takes place and will ensure grievances are filed on any and all violations found through this process.
Your UNION is behind each of you firmly, we will ensure you are well represented and if any discipline is issued through this process it will be challenged.
Based on the above, the Union has filed policy grievance CHQ-23-66, attached HERE. We look forward to discussing this with the employer.
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE