Release #: 20.21
August 20, 2020
ALPA Canada Focused on Securing a Labour-Friendly Airline Stimulus Package
OTTAWA, ONT.—As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt across our country, the Canadian aviation sector struggles to survive. It is disappointing that the federal government has stopped short of meaningful assistance to directly support the aviation industry and protect the jobs of its workers.
An integral and irreplaceable part of the Canadian economy, air transportation facilitates trade, plays an instrumental role in tourism, and ensures the movement of people and cargo throughout our country and the world. Canadian airlines employ over 50,000 people directly, another 141,000 indirectly with an economic footprint of $35 billion, and help support millions of other jobs throughout the economy.
“Support from the federal government is needed today so that the airline industry will be there for Canada tomorrow,” said ALPA Canada president Capt. Tim Perry. “The failure of Canada’s airline industry will have wide-ranging effects on the workforce and the economy, including increased downward pressure on Canada’s GDP.”
As the effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt across our country, it is clear the airline industry—because of travel restrictions—is lagging behind nearly every other sector when it comes to recovery. With no end in sight, the industry will not be able to employ thousands of Canadians in the coming months.
The recent extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) was welcomed news. The reality, however, is that the extension is only prolonging the inevitable fate of a majority of workers in the sector if there is no direct government financial assistance for airlines beyond the CEWS end date.
ALPA Canada recently provided the government recommendations that are forward-looking and provide a clear path to assisting the industry’s COVID-19 recovery efforts and future growth.
“Discussions need to take place between industry, labour, Canadian communities, and the federal government so that we can develop and execute strategies that have collective support at the foundational level,” continued Perry. “As Canada’s airline industry is facing one of its greatest challenges in history, we look to the federal government to safeguard the public health, limit the economic toll on the airlines and support their recovery, and protect the airline workers who help power this important industry.”
ALPA Canada also repeats its calls for the federal government to help remove the jurisdictional barriers and work with the provinces on a coordinated safe return to domestic air travel that uses a science-based, physician-endorsed approach and incorporates new understanding and best practices for safe air travel in our new reality—this includes rapid testing and temperature checks, personal protective equipment, stringent and visible cleaning protocols, and strict measures to limit contact on and off aircraft.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents nearly 63,000 pilots at 35 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org