Welcome!

News Feed Item

CUPE calls for meeting with Raitt to discuss passenger safety concerns

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/11/14 -- The ratio of one flight attendant for every 50 passenger seats proposed by Transport Canada will increase the risk to passengers' safety in an emergency and the Federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt must hear it directly from the union representing over 10, 000 Canadians. Flight attendants care about their passengers' safety and are concerned about the new rules, said CUPE National President Paul Moist in a letter sent to Minister Raitt.

"We reiterate our opposition to the proposed amendments in the strongest possible terms. Any reduction to the number of flight attendants is a serious public safety concern," wrote Moist. "Minister, you have repeatedly justified the change to the 1:50 ratio as a mere matter of harmonizing with current U.S. and European ratios. You fail to explain that in contrast to these jurisdictions, the proposed changes will allow airlines to "flip flop" between the two ratios. This untested regulation would be unique in the world, and raises many serious safety concerns."

"We are urgently requesting a meeting at your earliest possible convenience," added Moist. "It is hardly reasonable to suggest that CUPE, the major representative body for flight attendants and with considerable historical and technical background on aviation safety - does not deserve your immediate attention."

To help the airlines' bottom line, Transport Canada intends to force through the proposed regulatory changes to flight attendant to passenger ratios from 1:40 to 1:50 following a mere one-day public consultation on May 22, 2014. That is not enough. CUPE is calling on the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to launch a public inquiry of proposed regulatory changes that will leave emergency exits unattended and put airline passengers at risk.

CUPE represents more than 10,000 flight attendants employed by Air Canada, Air Transat, Calm Air, Canadian North, Canjet, Cathay Pacific, First Air and Sun Wing.

Attached is a copy of the letter forwarded by Paul Moist, CUPE National President, to Lisa Raitt, federal Minister of Transport.

Dear Minister Raitt,

I am writing to you as the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees representing over 627,000 Canadian workers, and the certified bargaining unit for over 10,000 flight attendants working for Air Canada, Air Transat, Calm Air, Canadian North, Canjet, Cathay Pacific, First Air, and Sunwing.

We remain deeply concerned and are opposed to the proposed changes to reduce the flight attendant to passenger ratios from 1:40 to 1:50 presented by CARAC on May 22, 2014.

We continue to take the position, historically upheld by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, that any changes to flight attendant ratios must be subject to highest level of oversight and should not occur without a parliamentary study. We are particularly concerned by the history of secrecy and suppressed information associated with Transport Canada on this issue, most notably a 2003 risk assessment that we believe was neither open, transparent nor participatory.

Successive Transport Ministers and MPs have rejected changes to the ratio since 2001. Moreover, MPs from all parties serving on the Standing Committee on Transport have repeatedly questioned Transport Canada's motives for regulatory changes to the 1:40 requirement, and insisted on a departmental commitment to notify and consult the committee before proceeding with a regulatory change. Yet despite such opposition, Transport Canada seems intent on forcing through the regulation following a mere one-day public consultation conducted by the Canadian Regulatory Advisory Council (CARAC) on May 22, 2014.

On May 22, 2014, over one hundred flight attendants represented by CUPE raised critically important procedural and substantive concerns related to the consultation process and the proposed regulatory changes. Many more who could not attend due to work schedules have forwarded their comments and concerns to us.

Across Canada, flight attendants and community allies urged Transport Canada on May 22 to hold further consultations before making decisions that will seriously impact public safety. As well, two members of the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities (including the committee vice-chair Hoang Mai) raised serious concerns about the proposed regulatory amendments and lack of scrutiny by parliamentarians. Both members expressed their dismay at not having been informed directly of the consultation, and having only learning about it from concerned flight attendants.

Minister, we reiterate our opposition to the proposed amendments in the strongest possible terms. Any reduction to the number of flight attendants is a serious public safety concern. Indeed, the level of media attention to our comments and concerns can only be taken as proof that the changes are seen as a matter of public interest. Flight attendants are crucial to the safety of all passengers, but in particular more vulnerable groups such as seniors and persons with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, school groups and any other passengers who require extra attention in the event of an emergency. It is widely acknowledged, for example, that a high ratio of flight attendants to passengers was a key factor in the successful evacuation of Air France 358 in 2005. On May 22, representatives from these groups expressed their concerns. We will continue to work with them to bring safety issues forward in a manner that is open and transparent to Canadians.

We do not want another Air France accident to make our point. We believe that the motivation for these changes is to cut labour costs for airlines whose profits are being jeopardized after decades of unfettered deregulation and internal competition. Profits can never be placed before public safety, as the recent Lac Megantic tragedy has once again reminded us.

Minister, you have repeatedly justified the change to the 1:50 ratio as a mere matter of harmonizing with current U.S. and European ratios. You fail to explain that in contrast to these jurisdictions, the proposed changes will allow airlines to "flip flop" between the two ratios. This untested regulation would be unique in the world, and raises serious safety concerns.

For this and numerous other reasons, we are urgently requesting a meeting at your earliest possible convenience. Despite that fact that CARAC represents itself as a consultative body established to consider the opinions of the entire public, it is hardly reasonable to suggest that CUPE, the major representative body for flight attendants and with considerable historical and technical background on aviation safety - does not deserve your immediate attention.

I look forward to your timely response on this urgent issue,

PAUL MOIST, National President

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developers ...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in rea...
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.
For financial firms, the cloud is going to increasingly become a crucial part of dealing with customers over the next five years and beyond, particularly with the growing use and acceptance of virtual currencies. There are new data storage paradigms on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive financial data around the world without touching terrestrial networks. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Cliff Beek, President of Cloud Constellation Corporation, w...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.