AC flight attendants picket Harper’s Calgary office
Oct. 18, 2011, Calgary - Angry Air Canada flight attendants demonstrated outside Prime Minister Stephen Harper's constituency office in Calgary on Monday to denounce the government's decision to stop strike action.
October 18, 2011 By The Canadian Press
About fifty Air Canada employees showed up wearing purple to show their solidarity.
Earlier this month, the flight attendants voted to strike but they were barred from walking off the job after Labour Minister Lisa Raitt referred the case to the Canadian Industrial Relations Board.
Wages are one of the key concerns and flight attendants say the offer from the company did not reflect a cost of living increase.
"When our CEO says flight attendants make $51,000 a year, I'd like to see him talk to some of our young people just starting out who make $18,000 and can't put food on their tables,'' said protest
co-ordinator Kim Wentzell.
The flight attendants are also looking for more clarity about Air Canada's reported plans to take on a discount carrier as well as more information on pension considerations.
They also want a place on the planes where they can take a break during the flight.
"The only time we're paid is when the wheels lift off the ground to when the wheels touch down, so when I'm boarding you on your flight with a smile on my face even in a four-hour delay from a snowstorm, I'm not getting paid yet either,'' said Wentzell.
The CRIB has met with both parties but there's no word on how long a resolution will take.
Air Canada says it will be business as usual as long as the matter is before the board.