The Company recently announced that it will be rolling back its policy of designating forward lavatories for crew use only. July 27th this process started for narrow-body, and August 10th it will commence on widebody aircraft. This comes after many weeks of back and forth between the Union and management, where we raised very strong objections to this change so early on.
The Union and its health and safety representatives believe that it is crucial to follow two fundamental rules of health and safety when adopting and modifying procedures such as the designated lavatories:
1. The precautionary principle, which states that action to reduce risk should not await scientific certainty, but that employers should take steps in favor of prevention until they are proven to be to be ineffective.
The hierarchy of controls, which states that hazards must be addressed in the following order: elimination, substitution, engineering mitigation, administrative mitigation, and lastly personal protective equipment mitigation.
By removing the designated lavatories for crew, the Union firmly believes the Company is failing to abide by these two principles. The Company asserts that in providing things such as temperature screening, announcements, enhanced aircraft grooming, and PPE for crew and face coverings for passengers, designated LAVs are no longer necessary. However, there are significant holes in these measures which simply cannot offset the benefits afforded by a lavatory reserved for crew only.
The pandemic is still ongoing, and the full effects of economic re-openings around the globe are just beginning to be known. Both ICAO (United Nations) and IATA (worldwide airline industry association of which Air Canada is a member) both recommend designating lavatories when possible. Accordingly, it is both unfortunate and disheartening to see the Company deviating from internationally recognized guidance, and rolling back measures designed and implemented to protect its workers. We’ve been through a lot and the Union believes its members deserve better.
How to make your voice heard:
We are working around the clock to make sure your concerns are heard and making a difference as the company revamps its product and service level. We cannot say “we saw things on Facebook” when we discuss matters with management. It is untraceable and citing discussions we see could violate the trust we have as colleagues. Because of this Facebook is best left for casual discussions – not reporting issues you want fixed. Please help us do our jobs so that you can come to work and confidently do yours, REPORT:
- If you have the time to vent on Facebook or other platforms, you should have already reported your issue officially – no exceptions.
- For concerns about potential or actual hazards, file a health and safety complaint e-report that the company is guaranteed to see, that your Union reps see, and which will contribute to company stats used to make the workplace safer.
- From ACAeronet > safety > Submit a report/SIMS
Direct web link: sims.aircanada.ca
· AQD iPad app if you are an SD. If you are an SD filling out a report for an FA on your iPad it is very important to ensure that you fill in their name as the reporting employee so that the system attributes it to them, not you.
– You will pass through two login screens.
– Click on the small (it’s very small!) e-report tab in the top left of the screen.
– On the next screen, select health and safety complaint from the menu on the right
pop-up will appear.
– Remember to use your Air Canada email address.
– Before clicking “submit” verify the “set department” button just to the left and ensure IFS DEPARTMENT is selected.
We strongly suggest typing the text of your complaint in a blank email so that it isn’t lost if there is a problem submitting.
Your Union H&S reps will be able to see your report in the safety system but send us an email to let us know you’ve submitted it with the report reference number.
We remain available to our members during this difficult time. Stop by one of our offices, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org (non-urgent) or email@example.com (questions that can’t wait until the next business day).
Your Air Canada Component of CUPE Health and Safety Committee