Air Transat strike looming: A matter of respect, not ruining your vacation
After more than a year on the job without a contract, Air Transat’s 2,100 flight attendants have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a strike mandate.
The flight attendants, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) — the country’s largest union, with 740,000 members represented nationwide — are actively negotiating with Air Transat to achieve the fair working conditions they deserve, and to save holiday travellers the grief of cancelled flights and upended travel plans.
“Air Transat’s flight attendants are getting crushed by inflation, stagnant wages, and impossible working conditions. They deserve much better,” said union president Dominic Levasseur.
“We are responsible for more than the well-being of passengers — we are the safety professionals who keep the public safe at 40,000 feet in the air. All we want from Air Transat is the respect and the fair working conditions we deserve.”
Flight attendants do far more than inflight service
A flight attendant’s job goes far beyond what most people see, such as inflight service or going over the safety instructions.
Each flight attendant is responsible for the safety and security of the aircraft itself, as well as the comfort and well-being of passengers both on the ground and at 40,000 feet.
Flight attendants are required to have an extensive knowledge of the aircraft they work on — from the oxygen systems, to lighting, to water and waste systems, to evacuation drills and procedures, as well as cabin comfort, and much more.
They must be able to identify aircraft needs such as de-icing. They also perform safety checks on windows; handle safety equipment; and identify any potential leaks, spills, and structural damage inside the plane.
Flight attendants are responsible for every passenger and must be prepared for any situation, from medical emergencies to fires onboard. That means providing help to passengers with reduced mobility, watching over unaccompanied minors, dealing with abusive passengers, and enforcing safety and security procedures.
Imagine being on an airplane with dangerous goods or when a death occurs. Handling extreme situations is all part of a flight attendant’s intensive training, which must be kept up to date every year.
Simply put, every time you board an aircraft, your life is in the hands of flight attendants.
We’d rather be working than on strike
“We understand and appreciate the impact a strike would have on the public. The last thing we want to do is leave travellers high and dry with their vacations in turmoil. We’d much rather be at work, doing what we love.”
“But after more than a year without a collective agreement, time and our patience has run out. Every flight attendant who is at work, in uniform, and performing professional tasks must be paid for all of the work they do.”
Did you know that cabin crews are only paid when the engine is running? This must change. Airlines don’t pay flight attendants for ground tasks like assisting with boarding, pre-flight security checks, disembarking, and various ground delays.
On average, flight attendants in Canada work an average of up to 35 hours for free each month even if they’re at work, in uniform, doing their jobs to ensure the safety and well-being of passengers.
This period could be turbulent for all of us, so stay informed
Air Transat flight attendants are always looking out for your well-being, even at a moment like this.
The last thing anyone wants is to ruin your travel plans. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, the bargaining team is encouraging you to contact Air Transat customer service today, and tell them you support their workers’ demands for respect, safe work conditions, and a decent living.
Everyone deserves respect at work.