Brent Jang. “Air Canada temporarily lays off 345 flight attendants”
The Globe and Mail, 26 Jan. 2009: B3
The recession is reducing a travel dements, following by cuts in aircrafts jobs. Starting March of 2009, Air Canada, the biggest Canadian airlines, is planning to cut 345 flight attendances. One of the strategy is to remove one of the flight attendance from transatlantic flight, where sometimes three attendance at the front of the plane. The cuts mean for example, a Boeing 767 flying overseas typically would be operating with six instead of seven attendants in business class. Cutting a flight attendant from a transatlantic route could potentially compromise safety. Also new layoffs add to more service problems. The Company is already responding to customer complains about many Christmas cancelations and delays, and was harshly criticized for lack of service. Recent cutbacks will not improve service level.
Air Canada is forecasting seat capacity will decline between 7 and 9 per cent compare with the same period in 2008.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) which is representing about 5,700 flight attendance on active duty at Montreal based airlines is estimating that it will lay off 6 per cent of those CUPE members.
Union leaders are worried how management is setting a harsh tone just few months before expiry of collective agreement. The company is hoping to bumping employee based on seniority which could be affected by employees who would have to move to replace a worker with less seniority, but decline to do so. Flight attendants' average salary is $42,869, and it looks like this bargaining it is not going be the easy one.
The recent history of Air Canada is not bright one. In March of 2003 Air lines cut 3,600 jobs. Which at that time the company was in bankruptcy protection and was negotiating to make major reduction in labour cost. The company attempted to reduce its annual operating expenses by 25 percent, or C$2.4 billion....