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
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...