CanJet flight attendants worried about the company's future

MONTREAL, Feb. 11, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - CanJet flight attendants and their union are experiencing considerable uncertainty about the future of the company and their jobs. In January, Air Transat announced plans to acquire smaller aircraft: single-aisle Boeing 737s. This poses a threat to CanJet's main activity, namely providing Air Transat with outsourced connections requiring smaller aircraft.

CanJet flight attendants work exclusively on Boeing 737s. Wondering if they might lose their jobs in the short or medium term, they are asking the company to involve them more in the current changes.

"The CanJet management is optimistic. They advised their employees on January 15 that it will remain under contract with Air Transat until May 2014. They claim that negotiations are underway between the two companies, and that an announcement could be made by the middle of February. That's all well and good, but the flight attendants still feel like they're living on borrowed time," said Chantal Bourgeois, the National Representative responsible for the file with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

"We understand what's involved in a negotiation context. We hope that CanJet will provide greater clarity and communication on the various possible scenarios," added the representative.

CanJet flight attendants are emergency specialists whose primary role is to ensure passenger safety. They are represented by CUPE Local 4044. Their current collective agreement will expire on June 30, 2014.

They are approximately 450. 195 of them are based in Montreal, 172 in Toronto, and 41 in Vancouver. 42 others are based in Quebec City during the winter season only, and 7 are recalled to Halifax in February and March 2013 on an ad hoc basis.

CUPE is Canada's largest airline union. In addition to its CanJet members, CUPE represents nearly 10,000 flight attendants at carriers including Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, Calm Air, Canadian North, First Air and Cathay Pacific, as well as ground agents at Porter Airlines in Ottawa.

CUPE is the largest union in Canada with 618,000 members working in health, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, urban and air transport, emergency services and communications.

SOURCE: Canadian Union of Public Employees (FTQ)

For further information:

Chantal Bourgeois CUPE National Representative, mobile: 514 923-2204
or 
Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Information, mobile: 438 882-3756