TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - This morning, six months after
joining Canada's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE), flight attendants with Sunwing airlines sat down with the
employer to negotiate their first collective agreement.
"We are hopeful we will come to a fair agreement. We expect a healthy
collaboration on behalf of the employer" indicated CUPE representative,
Caroline Bédard. She added "our goal for these negotiations is to raise
the fight attendants' working conditions to the level of standards set
by the airline industry."
Last March, approximately 700 flight attendants chose to join CUPE in a
vote conducted by the Canada Industrial Relations Board.
Since the vote, the union local has been busy building, training and
organizing. The negotiating committee on the union's side is made up of
8 members and at least one comes from each of the airlines' five bases:
Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montréal and Québec.
"They decided to have at least one representative per region in order to
facilitate communications with the rest of the members and keep them up
to speed with the talks" added Caroline Bédard.
Sunwing is a highly profitable company in an industry where competitors
are struggling. Management totes up that they are the only airline with
a profit margin oscillating around the 6% mark, while their competitors
are showing margins closer to the 1% and 1.5%. The airline carrier
continues to grow. Sunwing wants to expand up to 20% to 30% in
CUPE is Canada's largest airline union. With workers from Sunwing, CUPE
now represents nearly 10,000 flight attendants at both large and
smaller air carriers including: Air Canada, Air Transat, CanJet, First
Air, Cathay Pacific, CALM Air, Canadian North, and the ground agents at
Porter Airlines in Ottawa.
SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (FTQ)
For further information:
Caroline Bédard, Union representative, CUPE, 514 743-5599
Lisa Djevahirdjian, CUPE Communications, 514 831-3815