Your Component Uniform/Luggage and Health and Safety Committees have been very busy these past few months, working with the company to finalize both the new uniform and luggage. Many of you have written to us with questions and comments throughout this time. As your representatives, we needed to prioritize addressing these with the company for resolution, sometimes under very tight timelines, prior to writing an update.
Your committees will continue to work with the company as the uniform roll-out occurs. We ask that you please write to us with any comments or concerns so that we remain aware of any issues that arise.
At this time, we are pleased to be able to report the following:
- AUG-DEC – Fitting at UNISYNC fitting locations.
- DEC 9th – Last day to order items from the old uniform
- JAN 2nd-15th 2018 – New uniform is shipped, with priority given to orders requiring alterations.
- JAN 2018 – New luggage is shipped
- FEB 5th 2018 – New uniform goes live
- Following the initial type-trial, CUPE raised concerns about identifiable elements of the uniform, both for safety on layover, as well as practicality. With the final uniform, a conscious effort was made to remove permanent printed logos or other easily identifiable elements from items such as the winter-wear, purse/clutch etc…
- A major concern for members was access to UNISYNC fitting boutiques for those who commute, and for our YYZ members who found it difficult to get to the location on Dixie Rd. Your CUPE uniform and safety committees worked diligently on this, and were pleased that the company agreed to expand availability to include: Halifax, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, St. Johns, and a location adjacent to Pearson International Airport.
- CUPE strongly advocated for, and is pleased to note that at time of publication, in order to provide a uniform that is more comfortable to all employees, the company is offering three levels of tailoring. These will be regular hemming, enhanced, and made-to-measure. Most employees are expected to require only regular hemming. Employees requiring enhanced tailoring, including moving of buttons, or made-to-measure items will be identified during their fitting session at the UNISYNC boutique. Those selected for alterations will have their shipments specially marked, and will be invited to schedule a second appointment at a later date at locations designated by the company.
- For those who are unable to visit a fitting boutique, the uniform ordering website (see contacts below) allows up to 14 measurements to be uploaded in order to provide the best possible fit. However, your Component uniform and health and safety committees strongly suggest getting a proper fitting at one of UNISYNC’s boutiques due to the tailored style of the new uniform, and in order to gain access to enhanced tailoring or made-to-measure pieces if necessary.
Some members have expressed that certain pieces did not fit well during fitting sessions. While no uniform will fit everyone perfectly, if you experienced significant sizing issues with any particular piece and were not offered tailoring, please let us know.
- CUPE is pleased that the faux-fur winter hat has been updated with a more retro look. This had been a big comment from members.
- The winter scarf has been re-vamped, is less wide, of a softer material, and has a black and a red side.
- The winter parka was recently presented to the union, is rated to -35, and includes lined pockets, hand sleeves with thumb cut-out, full metal zipper with Velcro wind flap and hood. There was some initial confusion at fitting boutiques about as to whether it would be provided to in-flight. As reported in company communication, it will be, and CUPE is currently advocating for it to be included at zero cost. It is confirmed that there is a male and female version.
- The “all-weather” jacket was re-styled as a double-breasted trench. It is being provided as a standard item. A new durable water repellant finish has been added.
- The popular topper coat, was initially slated for retirement. Members expressed a great desire for this item to be continued, and we are pleased that it has been retained.
- The membership was loud and clear in saying that the brevet had special meaning and importance. We are pleased that the company has chosen to return to a more classic set of metal wings, with engraved names.
Shirts: CUPE received strong input from the membership to obtain short-sleeved shirts, and a more fitted, yet functional style.
- Originally not in the plans, CUPE insisted that a short-sleeved shirt was necessary for work in our busy economy cabins, particularly during summer months. We were delighted when the company agreed to pursue short-sleeved options, which are not only functional but sharp.
- Following the initial trial, it was evident that major design changes were necessary to the women’s shirts. The company invested in a complete re-design including the addition of re-enforced buttons.
- Three styles have been included for shirts: Fitted or regular fit long-sleeved, and a hybrid short-sleeved shirt, with adjustable sleeve for men to ensure comfortable movement over the upper arm.
- CUPE insisted on a naturally flame-retardant wool fabric, with no lycra. The initial fabric was replaced by a better one with naturally-occurring 4-way mechanical stretch due to the way it is woven. The finishing of the fabric is designed to provide a soft feel, and it is designed to be as durable as our current uniform. Although texture was added to the fabric, the same weight was retained due to the use of a tic weave versus a plain weave (for those who are really into fabrics!!).
- The women’s dress jacket received extensive re-design following the initial trial including darts to add shape, a new hem line, and 1 re-enforced button.
- Both men and women’s blazers received added interior pockets to accommodate for the removal of those on the exterior. CUPE has asked for the uniform and luggage to be mobile device friendly, and the blazers each have a pocket to accommodate one.
- The initial “winged” shoulder design, which had been added in response to CUPE’s request for more freedom of arm movement, proved problematic. A more expensive “soft” shoulder cut was therefore chosen in order to achieve the same range of movement.
- The warm sweater has been made slimmer and darker. CUPE is pleased that following discussion, it will be permissible in the cabins for service, but not boarding and deplaning.
- Our members have long expressed a desire for an apron with a more professional appearance. The company delivered such a product and has stated that it can be worn from galley to cabin, and worn as a service apron. Details for business class are yet to be determined.
Women’s Pants and Skirt:
- The “peach lining” in the pants and women’s skirt has been removed in favour of a more functional material.
Women’s Dress Scarf and Men’s Tie:
- The idea of the safe, quick-release design was well received, but the positioning of the knot was found to need some adjustment. We are pleased that the production version of the scarf has been altered to fall more naturally.
- At CUPE’s insistence, the scarf is also made from 100% natural silk fibre, which is generally much more comfortable and breathable. A synthetic version will be made available to those with a silk allergy.
- The men’s tie is also 100% natural silk fibre, providing a much-improved look. Clip-on ties are also regular lengths.
- Based on strong feedback, the straps for the red purse have been elongated to allow it to be carried on the shoulder. The handle strap has been retained. The clutch has been changed from red to black, with all branding removed to allow for use on layovers. Also added is the courier bag as an optional item for men, or substitute for the women’s purse.
- The new galley gloves have arrived, and incorporate several improvements over the silver mitts. They provide dexterity similar to the non-approved gardening gloves that many people have used, while providing much needed protection of the forearm. Most importantly, these gloves offer better protection from hot liquids and have been testedfor use with our onboard ovens (contrary to rumours).
- A common comment is that the top of the hand should be rubberized. The policy health and safety committee asked for this, however the manufacturer advised it was not possible as it would restrict the stretch of the glove, making it fit poorly.
- There was an issue with sizing, whereby the XS was closer to a S. The company is ordering XXS gloves for those who require them. Please ensure to see your base safety manager to let them know that you wish to be placed on the list for an XXS pair when they arrive, and visit the Unisync site to order an XS pair in the interim.
- The new galley gloves do contain latex. An alternate glove is currently being sourced for those who present a medical note. Please see your base safety manager to be provided a pair of interim gloves, until the final version are sourced.
- Allotment for the gloves will be 1 pair delivered late summer 2017, with another pair each year beginning with the new uniform roll-out in February 2018. If they become damaged, please exchange at the comm centre.
- If you missed the July 31 deadline to order your initial allotment, please see your base safety manager in order to ensure that you receive an initial allotment. This is required personal protective equipment and you should not be charged shipping for the initial allotment. If you are, please let the union know.
- It is our understanding that while Initial allotments will be picked up at the crew centre desk, subsequent orders will be shipped according to regular uniform ordering policies.
- Due to the revised fit of the new uniform, the company is introducing a tunic and a longer vest, and both black and grey hijab are allowed with the grey being available through Unisync. Garments previously available for other faiths will continue to be provided. CUPE is of the opinion that these items should be made available for sizing at boutiques.
- CUPE has always advocated the fact that maternity-wear can be both stylish and functional. The new options are an improvement and include both pant/maternity top and dress options. The fabric is a more comfortable, lighter material, and CUPE has emphasized the need for lining down the entire leg.
- With Mainline focusing more on international markets, CUPE has suggested that sleepwear be included in the regular yearly allotment, including online ordering, and that the pieces themselves be re-vamped. We are pleased that these two proposals have been well received, and although the initial allotment remain the same, we invite you to complete the following survey which will assist us in providing you improved and appropriate sleepwear.
- The uniform committee has received many comments about the way allotments are issued for the uniform, and some proposals have been made to the company about how they might be altered based on your suggestions. The company has informed the union that due to timelines, the initial allotment will follow the traditional approach, but that it is open to discussion for the following year. It is the wish of the Union that the way we acquire the uniform be revised.
- We recently reviewed the final luggage pieces and are finalizing details with the company. These will be communicated shortly in a separate bulletin.
Order from the regular uniform site:
Air Canada Component Uniform/Luggage Committee:
Air Canada Component Health & Safety Committee:
Air Canada Uniform (management):
Yammer Group: OnPoint
Your Component Uniform/Luggage and Health and Safety Committees