TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, tired of being scrooged,
the union representing flight attendants at Sunwing awarded their
employer an informal and symbolic prize for cheapskate of the year.
Unionized since March 2012, flight attendants have been negotiating
their first collective agreement since early September. According to
the union, so far, talks have been completely unsuccessful.
"What they have actually put on the table is insulting. This from
Sunwing, the airline company that pays flight attendants less than any
other carrier and who, at the same time, is Canada's most profitable
airline. We have not given up hope, but it feels like we're up against
the Scrooge of the Canadian airline industry," says Caroline Bédard,
CUPE National Representative and responsible for the Sunwing
"Wednesday, the company filed for conciliation with the Federal
Mediation and Conciliation Service. Talks will resume in January with
the help of a mediator. We are hoping to have a fresh start because so
far, we were going nowhere," explained Mark Brancelj, President of the
Sunwing flight attendants union, Canadian Union of Public Employees
"The goal of these negotiations is to raise the fight attendants'
working conditions to the level of standards set by the airline
Last March, approximately 900 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 members
from each of the airline's six bases: Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto,
Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.
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 around 1% and 1.5%, at best. The airline carrier
continues to grow. Its 2012 profits are expected to reach about $70
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.
With around 618,000 members across Canada, CUPE represents workers in
health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social
services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services,
communications and airlines.
SOURCE: Canadian Union of Public Employees (FTQ)
For further information:
Mark Brancelj, CUPE 4055 President, cell. 647-468-4055
Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Communications, cell. 438-882-3756