VANCOUVER- The group representing 9,500 flight attendants employed by Air Canada (AC) argues that the firm’s quarterly profit of $838 million underscores its ability to increase the meager starting wages for its flight attendants.
This financial success further demonstrates the company’s capability to put an end to its practice of utilizing and exploiting unpaid labor from its flight attendants.
Air Canada Flight Attendants Forced to WWP
“The positive aspect is that our passengers have returned, leading to fully occupied flights. However, the concerning aspect is that the employees who play a crucial role in maintaining the operations of this airline are grappling with rising inflation. In contrast, the airline continues to rely on unpaid hours of our labor to sustain its operations,” stated Wesley Lesosky, President of the Air Canada Component of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
“Our members are skilled safety experts, yet our initial wages are so low that even those working full-time are eligible for and reliant on government income supplements like the Canada Workers Benefit,” highlighted Lesosky.
Further highlighted that the starting pay for a flight attendant at Air Canada Rouge stands at $26,487 in the first year.
In the meantime, the airline neglects to compensate flight attendants for the significant work they do daily, which accumulates over time.
According to a survey conducted by CUPE last winter, the average Canadian flight attendant works without pay for about 35 hours each month because airlines like Air Canada only compensate flight attendants during the flight itself.
“This implies that essential tasks crucial to safety and passenger well-being, such as aiding passengers during boarding and deplaning, as well as conducting pre-flight safety checks, are not remunerated,” explained Lesosky.
“These substantial profit margins that are being reported are being sustained by the airline’s failure to provide our members with a reasonable wage – it’s as straightforward as that.”
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