The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents most flight attendants in Canada, says it is “appalled” by the closure of the Air Transat crew base at Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
The closure means that more than 200 flight attendant positions will be eliminated, according to a press release issued by CUPE on Wednesday (Jan. 18).
The “very bad news” is “somewhat mitigated” by the fact that all these flight attendants will have the opportunity to be reassigned to bases in Montreal and Toronto, CUPE stated.
The union said it will be working diligently to negotiate adequate severance pay with the employer for its members who lose their jobs, as well as help those who change bases.
"Despite our understanding of the economic imperatives that have forced Air Transat to make this terrible decision, our employer must keep in mind that the vast majority of our members at our Vancouver base have dedicated decades of loyal services to the company. Transat must take responsibility for its employees who will be laid off or need to transfer thousands of kilometers away. The union will do everything possible to obtain the best conditions for its members," said Dominic Levasseur, president of CUPE's Air Transat Component.
Air Transat's Component is part of CUPE's Airline Division, which represents more than 18,500 flight attendants working across Canada at Air Transat, Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Sunwing, WestJet, Swoop, Encore, Calm Air, Canadian North, Pivot Airlines, Flair Airlines, PAL and Pascan.