Friday,  June 18, 2021  7:00 am

"No action" from feds to save aviation, says Unifor, calling travel ban anniversary "shameful"

  • Air
  •   03-16-2021  2:17 pm
  •   Pax Global Media

"No action" from feds to save aviation, says Unifor, calling travel ban anniversary "shameful"
Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, appears at a virtual press conference on March 16, 2021.
Pax Global Media

One year has passed since government-imposed travel bans, but despite growing aviation sector job losses, there has been "no action" to help Canada's struggling aviation industry, says Unifor, which represents workers in the aviation sector. 

Unifor held a press conference on Tuesday (March 16) where union leaders expressed how they were frustrated by Ottawa's lack of action to help save Canada's aviation sector over the last year. 

"Governments around the world acted swiftly to support their aviation sector. The Government of Canada disturbingly stands alone when it comes to turning its back on aviation workers," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, in a statement. "Canada can't have a safe economic recovery without a healthy aviation sector."

Aviation workers rally at YYZ to save Canadian aviation in October 2020. (Pax Global Media)

Sounding the alarm 

Unifor is part of an industry-wide coalition that has been sounding the alarm about the aviation sector's dire state for nearly a year. 

The union has published a detailed policy paper filled with science-based, practical and far-reaching proposals to get the industry back on its feet and aviation workers safely back to work.

Unifor National President Jerry Dias appears at a rally at YYZ to save Canadian aviation in Oct. 2020. (Pax Global Media)

At Tuesday's news conference, streamed on Facebook, Dias was joined by several Unifor local union presidents representing aviation workers to renew the call for a national recovery plan. 

READ MORE: “We’ve had enough”: aviation workers rally at YYZ, aim anger at Ottawa for stalling on recovery plan

The leaders say a plan must ensure services are preserved and remote locations do not lose service or the vital connections to medicine, business, family, and friends.

"We've worked with employers and experts to present sensible options for the government," said Dias. "One year of inaction is a shameful anniversary. What is the federal government waiting for?"

Unifor also recommends a national recovery plan include adapting border restrictions to safely reopen borders in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization's Universal Standard to implement rapid testing and dynamic quarantine.

Thousands of aviation workers in Canada have been laid off since the start of the pandemic and several more were let go at the start of 2021 when airlines suspended all flights to sun destinations until April 30.

Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!