Will Transat flight attendants go on strike from January 3rd?

The Air Transat flight attendants union is still negotiating with employers, accompanied by an arbitrator, to improve their working conditions and salaries.

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Notably, the union representing 2,100 flight attendants has adopted a very strict strike mandate that could be declared as early as January 3, in the middle of the holiday season.

“We are still hoping for an agreement [le 12 décembre]. It is a historic strike mandate that we had almost unanimously with 99.8%,” explained Air Transat Component President for CUPE, Dominic Levasseur, in an interview with LCN.

He recalled the extent to which working conditions needed to be reviewed, as certain demands had already been on the table for 20 years.

“We are the only ‘job’ in Canada that requires you to report to work at 8 a.m. but pay starts at 9 a.m.” “Everything we do before passengers arrive when we meet you on When we greet the plane, we don’t get paid and the federal government doesn’t help us either,” complains the union representative.

Fatigue and long working hours are also a big problem for the employees of the airline, which operates many overseas flights.

“A flight from Athens to Montreal, a 10:45 hour flight without a seat, is unacceptable in 2023! We have legendary wishes that we have been waiting for for 20 years and that we now want to implement while the company can make money at the same time,” emphasizes Mr. Levasseur.

“They have improved their profit margins, they are well managed, we want to be treated well too. […] We made a lot of concessions. We understand the pandemic, but the company is now profitable and we hope to get our share of the pie.

While acknowledging that the choice of strike on December 2 is strategic in order to establish a balance of power with the employer, he is nonetheless reassuring.

“I also don’t want people to think there will be a strike. We sincerely hope to reach an agreement by then. However, we cannot say that there will not be any,” he emphasizes.

He also regrets the lack of federal support.

“Almost all airlines in Canada have starting salaries of $26,570. That is below the minimum wage. It’s like a loophole in the Canadian Labor Code that we’re experiencing right now.”

There is still one week of mediation negotiations left to reach an agreement and negotiations will continue.

***Watch the full interview in the video above.***