TORONTO — “Further travel restrictions without providing financial support for airline workers is a risk to the very future of Canada’s airline industry,” says Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor.
As Canada’s largest union in the private sector, Unifor is calling on the federal government to provide immediate financial support to the industry to prevent its total collapse. News broke on Jan. 29 that the government will be implementing a new wave of travel restrictions and measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. These include new mandatory PCR testing at Canada’s four largest airports as well as mandatory hotel quarantines that come at an expense exceeding $2,000 per person.
“Though these measures are necessary to help flatten the curve, they also highlight the continued withering away of airline jobs,” said Dias. “More than 300,000 workers are frustrated, wondering why their federal government refuses to present a plan to help them weather this pandemic. Unlike other countries, Canada’s continued refusal to help this industry is making a bad situation worse.”
Last week, Dias presented Unifor’s national aviation plan to the federal Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. He stressed the urgent need to develop a national recovery plan for the aviation industry that includes financial support for workers and addresses the growing issue of precarious work in the aviation industry.