Unions are calling on the federal government to secure the return of five Canadian airline employees detained in the Dominican Republic.
Three labour organizations representing 93,000 aviation workers say the flight crew has been held for more than 40 days after they crew discovered 200 grams of cocaine in the plane’s avionics bay and reported it to police in Punta Cana on April 5.
Unifor, CUPE and the Air Line Pilots Association say their members were arbitrarily detained, threatened and prosecuted despite following Transport Canada protocols and international laws.
The crew – two pilots, two flight attendants and one maintenance engineer on a Pivot Airlines charter flight – was jailed then later released on bail after surrendering their passports pending further investigation.
Pilots association president Tim Perry says the unions have heard credible threats to their safety, underscoring the need to get them back home to their families.
Global Affairs Canada spokesman Jason Kung said in an email last month the department is aware of the detention and that consular officials are providing assistance, but privacy considerations prevent disclosing more information.