We would be remiss not to acknowledge the discomfort and unease that has been brought to our attention regarding the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft around the world. 13 of the aircraft were in operation in our fleet, and we stand behind the decision made by Transport Canada today to ground the model based on the most recent developments.
Over the course of the last 48 hours, it has become increasingly clear that many of our Cabin Crew Members did not feel safe operating on this aircraft, and when concerns arise related to your personal safety, your CUPE 4070 Executive stands behind you. We will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to work with the company to ensure that our operations, your jobs and your well-being, are at the forefront of any discussion surrounding this issue.
Upon request to the company, we received confirmation on the status and wellbeing of our Cabin Crew Members who were operating aboard a MAX-8 at the time of Minister Garneau’s announcement this morning. There were 4 MAX-8s outbound from their destination, and all were permitted to return to Canada. All members are currently accounted for within our system, and are continuing with their pairings or have been returned to base.
We have been in constant communication with the company, and throughout our numerous calls and conference calls, we’ve requested and received assurance that no loss of block hours or loss of pay will occur as a result of grounding 13 of the new aircraft type. We have also been assured that no layoffs are foreseen and discussed multiple options to prevent this from occurring.
WestJet has briefed us on the contingency plan to cover the shortage of aircraft over the course of the coming weeks. We are satisfied with the mitigation strategies that the company is putting forward, and will continue to fight and advocate for our members should any new information arise that we feel puts our livelihood, as Cabin Crew Members, at risk.
We appreciate every member email that we have received. Please continue to be in touch with us, including for issues unrelated to the Boeing 737 MAX. We, in turn, are committed to keeping you up-to-speed as this situation develops.
Your CUPE Local 4070 Executive Team