Unifor fights Air Canada Jazz layoffs in Newfoundland and Labrador

Photo Credit: CNW Group/Unifor

Unifor, the prominent Canadian union representing thousands of aviation workers, has challenged Air Canada’s decision to lay off more than 50 members of its regional partner airline Jazz Aviation in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The move by Air Canada raised concerns about the future of aviation services in Gander, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and Deer Lake.

Unifor’s Stance

Unifor National President, Lana Payne, has expressed the union’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and interests of its aviation members at Jazz. She emphasizes that Air Canada cannot simply make significant contractual changes without facing resistance from the union.

Payne asserts, “Our members are dedicated to their jobs and deserve respect.” Unifor’s stance highlights the importance of fair treatment and job security for aviation workers in the face of evolving industry dynamics.

Changing Contracts and Service Providers

Currently, Jazz Aviation, based in Halifax, holds the contract for providing aviation services under the Air Canada Express banner. However, this status quo is set to change, as of November 1, when PAL Airlines will also become a part of the equation.

Jazz Aviation contends that its staffing adjustments are a direct response to Air Canada’s shifting schedules, raising questions about the implications of these changes on the affected employees.


Job Losses and Impact

The repercussions of these changes are starkly evident in the job losses incurred in various regions. Happy Valley-Goose Bay, for instance, will no longer receive services from Jazz Aviation, resulting in 13 job losses.

Gander is set to lose 16 positions, while Deer Lake faces 25 job cuts.

The union is taking proactive measures by filing numerous grievances and engaging lawyers to investigate potential violations of labor standards legislation.

Additionally, Unifor is closely scrutinizing the Capacity Purchase Agreement (CPA), which outlines how Air Canada outsources a portion of its operations to other companies. These legal actions signal Unifor’s determination to protect its members’ rights.

While Unifor is steadfast in its commitment to its members, the union says that it remains open to dialogue. Unifor recognizes the importance of finding a mutually beneficial resolution that serves the interests of both the company and the affected members.

Tammy Moore, President of Unifor Local 2002, emphasizes the devastating impact of these layoffs and asserts, “Unifor will be fighting this decision using all available resources.”

Unifor’s Wider Reach

Unifor’s influence extends far beyond the confines of this particular dispute. Representing 16,000 members in the aviation sector across Canada, including nearly 2,000 members at Jazz Aviation, the union plays a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of aviation employees.

These members, engaged in customer service, aircraft maintenance, and crew scheduling, are the backbone of the aviation industry, making Unifor’s involvement in their welfare critical.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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