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

Update on Bill C-409

On June 20, Conservative MP Lianne Rood tabled Bill C-409, a private members bill (PMB) to amend the Canada Labour Code, to ban unpaid work for flight attendants. The bill isn’t perfect, but nevertheless we are encouraged to see a bill tabled in Parliament less than three weeks after our lobby day on May 30, 2024. It shows our advocacy is working and we have support across the political spectrum.

There is some important context to keep in mind with respect to this bill. The Conservative Party did not consult your union on this legislation. They drafted and tabled this bill without ever picking up the phone to ask us what kind of legislation we wanted to see – and it shows. While it’s better than nothing, there are big gaps in this bill that need to be addressed.

The day after the legislation was tabled, we requested a meeting with MP Rood but have not been offered a meeting yet. That’s also disappointing. Earlier this week, we held meetings with the federal NDP to discuss how we can amend and improve this bill, and work together to expedite this bill before the next election. As always, we appreciate the constructive and supportive role the NDP has played in keeping our issue on the frontburner in Parliament.

We must also keep in mind that the Conservative Party has never been a friend to workers, unions, or flight attendants. The last time a Conservative PMB was passed into law was the anti-union Bill C-377, a bill that tried to kneecap the labour movement by burying unions in paperwork and public financial disclosures. Many of us will also remember the last time the Conservative Party made major legislative changes that affected flight attendants, they changed the passenger to flight attendant ratios from 40:1 to 50:1, making our jobs harder, and jeopardizing the safety of both crew and passengers. In my view, the Conservatives are not genuinely interested in helping us – they are likely more interested in riding the coat-tails and the momentum of our campaign in order to tap into our membership lists in their search for potential voters and donors for the upcoming election. It sounds cynical but that’s just the politics of it.

At the end of the day, we want this legislation improved and passed into law – no matter what party they come from. You can help put pressure on MPs from all parties to pass this legislation as soon as possible by signing a letter to your MP on our campaign website.

I want to once again acknowledge the immense work each of you have put into this campaign, the feedback, comments, and support, you, the membership have truly driven this plane to where we are now.

In Solidarity,

Wesley Lesosky
President, Air Canada Component of CUPE

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