Sky Regional Airlines to close as the Air Canada Express contract shifts to Jazz Aviation LP
Sky Regional Airlines Inc. will be the first Canadian airline to close amid the chaos in the air transportation sector due to the pandemic. Effective March 28, 2021, the airline will shut down.
Air Canada said on Monday it is "consolidating" its regional flights with Halifax-based Jazz Aviation to save $400-million over the 15 years of the agreement. Sky Regional flew from Toronto to places across Canada and the United States utilizing 25 Embraer E175 planes branded as Air Canada Express.
This change in providers is a cost-saving move by Air Canada to weather the storm from the pandemic's ongoing devastating impact. According to Air Canada, it will save them $400 million over the 15-year agreement.
Air Canada airports work, done by Unifor local 2002, is not affected by the service provider's change. Their collective agreement covers work ownership, and as a result, their membership will check-in or board the plane for Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Jazz Aviation LP or Air Transat
The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing 300 Sky Regional pilots, will negotiate with Jazz Aviation LP to secure employment in the face of a pandemic with thousands of airline employees laid off.
These workers are fortunate enough to have a union standing up for their best interest by negotiating preferential hiring at the new provider in the face of the ever-changing air transportation sector in Canada.
CUPE Reaches Tentative Deal with Onex WestJet
In other labour news this week, CUPE has reached a tentative deal with WestJet mainline. Despite massive layoffs and upheaval at the airline, a sigh of relief for cabin crew who a collective agreement will protect. The agreement will see CUPE take an active role in decisions at the airline that affects workers daily.
CUPE members will review the agreement and begin the process of ratifying the deal in the coming weeks.
Unifor congratulates CUPE on the task at hand as it would have been no easy feat to negotiate amid a pandemic with Onex WestJet as they continue to find cost-saving measures on the back of workers.
CUPE also represents the cabin crew at WestJet subsidiaries WestJet Encore and Swoop and is hopeful that this agreement leads to similar deals across the airline.
WestJet marks their 25th Anniversary
As WestJet celebrates their milestone, they re-created their first flight between Calgary and Vancouver with day-one WestJetters operating the flight, including the captain, first officer, cabin crew members and flight dispatch. Fortunately, Onex WestJet still employs airport workers in Calgary and Vancouver, providing an opportunity for the whole team to celebrate the occasion.
With great pride, WestJetters celebrated the day while thinking back to the company that once was. WestJet was a company that treated workers like family in the beginning. Many also held a heavy heart for those coworkers who also started with them across the network 25 years ago but sadly have been outsourced as Onex WestJet looks for cost-saving measures as it continues to change the company's direction.
As change continues to mount in the airline sector and at airlines across the country, the most valuable tool for workers to carry is their union membership card. It is time for Onex WestJet airports workers to take their seat at the table and become active in securing their future.
Please take action to protect your future; talk to your coworkers about signing a Unifor Membership card. It is time to take your seat at the table; they can do this at join.unifor.org/federalcard
Billy O'Neill, Unifor
[email protected] | 416-605-1443
Ada Zampini, Unifor
[email protected] | 514-701-6227
Bruce Fafard, Unifor
[email protected] | 587-341-0945
Simon Lau, Unifor
[email protected] | 778-928-9630
Patrick Murray, Unifor
[email protected] | 506-850-7996
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