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CanJet laying off flight attendants in Halifax

May 21, 2010, Halifax - CanJet Airlines is laying off 27 of its 44 flight attendants at its Halifax base next month.


May 21, 2010
By The Canadian Press

The Canadian Union of Public Employees said it was notified Thursday of the pending layoffs at the charter airline.

Airline owner Ken Rowe said the employees are being offered transfers to jobs with the company in Central Canada.

He said more flights are being operated from Central Canada, making the Halifax base less feasible.

"The business we're now conducting, all of our aircraft are pretty-well based in cities other than Halifax — primarily Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver,'' Rowe said in an interview. "So our whole business base has gone west, where the
population is.

"So it's becoming increasingly difficult for us to manage crews starting in Halifax and send them all across the country, at times, to join aircraft.''

CUPE official Peter Baxter said in a news release the union is disappointed with the layoffs because it involves some of the company's most senior workers.

"These are employees who have not only built the company but have stayed with CanJet through restructuring in the past,'' he said.

Baxter also said the company has made minimal offers of assistance with relocation, but will be offering severance pay.

Rowe called the relocation allowances "very generous.''

Much of CanJet's business involves vacation charters to southern destinations.