The union of flight attendants reacts cautiously to Air Transat's narrow-body aircraft plan

MONTREAL, Jan. 16, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The union representing Air Transat flight attendants cautiously reacts to the plan presented by Air Transat in Montreal this morning. Until January 23, the company is holding a series of meetings in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to inform its employees about a plan to develop a fleet of narrow-body aircraft consisting of B737s. The company is presenting the plan as a way both to reduce costs and to ensure employment stability. The Air Transat Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will study the plan in the coming days, in light of the best interests of the flight attendants.

"We all have a stake in Air Transat becoming profitable again and maintaining its jobs. We demonstrated our good will this summer by accepting a three-year deferral of our wage increases related to our cost of living," noted Peter Buzzell, President of the Air Transat Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

"The flight attendants listened to the company's presentation in Montreal today and were able to address their questions to senior management. The project is interesting, but will entail cost-cutting measures. Although no formal proposal is yet on the table, we will have discussions with all of Air Transat unions and then consult with our members," added the union leader.

The primary role of Air Transat flight attendants, specialized in emergency situations, is to ensure passenger safety. They are divided into three local unions, corresponding to their three bases: CUPE 4041 (Montreal-YUL), CUPE 4047 (Toronto-YYZ) and CUPE 4078 (Vancouver-YVR). The Air Transat Component oversees these three local unions.

In total, CUPE represents nearly 10,000 members in air transport, including workers at Air Canada, Air Transat, Sunwing, CALM Air, Canadian North, CanJet, Cathay Pacific and First Air.

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

SOURCE: Canadian Union of Public Employees (FTQ)

For further information:

Peter Buzzell, president of the Air Transat Component, mobile: 514 293-5124
Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Communications, mobile: 438 882-3756

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