MONTREAL, June 13, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - After a series of general assemblies held across the country, 83% of Air Transat flight attendants voted in favour of a plan to help their employer. The "plan to return to profitability" temporarily freezes all cost-of-living wage increases. Precisely, the union, representing approximately 1,800 flight attendants, agrees to suspend the payments of three annual wage increases of 1%, as well as the payment of a lump sum of 1,5%. The company agrees to catch up on all salary increases and pay back the money owed by December 15, 2015 at the latest. This helping hand from flight attendants can be compared to a three-year loan.
"We have given our members the full picture of the situation, and have thoroughly discussed with them on Transat's proposal. The flight attendants have decided by a strong majority that this plan speaks to the best interests of everyone involved. Today, members of our union are showing support for their employer and faith in its future," said Peter Buzzell, president of the Air Transat Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
From June 1-12, the Component presented the plan to its membership by holding two general assemblies in each of the company's three flight attendant bases: Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
On May 1st, Air Transat and the union representing its pilots agreed to a similar plan.
The flight attendants' current collective agreement is legally binding from November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2015.
Air Transat flight attendants are emergency specialists whose primary role 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.
CUPE is Canada's largest airline union, representing nearly 10,000 flight attendants at carriers including: Air Canada, Air Transat, CanJet, First Air, Cathay Pacific, CALM Air, Canadian North and Sunwing.
CUPE is the largest union in Canada with 615,000 members working in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation, emergency services, communications and airlines.
For further information:
SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
Peter Buzzell, president of the Air Transat Component, 514-293-5124
Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Communications, 438-882-3756