In this week’s Throne Speech the federal government announced they would be providing “further support” for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism.
“Covid-19 has devastated our members and their families, particularly in the transportation industry. We need more than just talk of support. We need action, and we need it now.” That was the response from IAM Air Transportation Coordinator Keith Aiken.
Also announced this week is a Federal Government plan to support airlines as they work to re-launch routes between smaller regional centres and connections to larger cities. Airports in some of the regional centers were closed early into the Covid – 19 pandemic as travel declined.
Said IAM General Vice-President Stan Pickthall: “We welcome any support the Federal Government can provide to get our transportation industry kick-started. Families living in the regional centers demand and deserve service. Air Transportation is essential to the health and welfare of these communities, and IAM members that work at these airports need to get back to work.”
The IAM is calling on the government to provide a comprehensive aid package to the Air Transportation and Aerospace industries in Canada to protect rural Canadians and save industries that are integral to the economic engine of this country. “We need the federal government to act now to save this industry and protect thousands of good jobs!” Added Pickthall.
Canada’s Airline industry has been devastated by Covid-19. Air Canada has reported a loss of $1.75 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2020, with a 95% drop in passenger revenue. The Company carried 480,000 passengers vs. 12.8 million during the same period in 2019 (96% drop). In the last few months, Air Canada retired 30% of its fleet, as they lose 22 million dollars per day.
“And it’s not only the airlines that are hurting; associate businesses like airports, our IAM airport service groups, catering, fueling, hotels, car rental agencies, and many surrounding businesses have all felt the pain of this pandemic.” Said Aiken.
“The IAM has lobbied at all levels of government and with all employers,” added Pickthall. “We have demanded improvements to social programs like CEWS and CERB, and we have urged all employers to participate in the programs that will benefit IAM members the most. We are going to turn the corner on this pandemic and we are going to start with our economic recovery. Employers – including airlines and airport service companies – are going to be relying upon the return of a healthy and skilled workforce to rebuild their businesses.”
The IAM is the largest union in air transportation in Canada.
Keith Aiken: (416) 346-4593
Frank Saptel: (416) 386-1789