While air traffic has fallen sharply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian airline associations and unions called on Friday for cooperation with Ottawa to study new measures in the industry.
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Several union leaders who represent nearly 325,000 Canadian workers have joined the National Airlines Council of Canada (CNLA) to urge the Trudeau government to work with the airline industry.
“While further travel restrictions are being considered, the message from airline workers remains clear, government financial support for our devastated industry is long overdue,” said Jerry Dias, National President of Unifor.
The aviation sector has been severely affected by the health crisis, leading in particular to the loss of jobs for tens of thousands of employees.
“We support well-thought-out safety measures, but we also need to ensure that the Canadian aviation industry is able to recover over time, in order to give hope to the tens of thousands of employees of aviation who have lost their livelihood, ”said Wesley Lesosky, president of the Air Transport Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
Representatives then called for a comprehensive testing strategy to be put in place, based on procedures in other countries, before further restrictions were put in place in the industry.
“Airlines and workers in the airline industry are the first to implement these policy changes. We must work together to ensure an effective result for all parties involved, ”concluded Mike McNaney, President and CEO of CNLA.