SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Louis Evans, Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater

News Feed Item

CUPE calls for meeting with Raitt to discuss passenger safety concerns

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 06/11/14 -- The ratio of one flight attendant for every 50 passenger seats proposed by Transport Canada will increase the risk to passengers' safety in an emergency and the Federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt must hear it directly from the union representing over 10, 000 Canadians. Flight attendants care about their passengers' safety and are concerned about the new rules, said CUPE National President Paul Moist in a letter sent to Minister Raitt.

"We reiterate our opposition to the proposed amendments in the strongest possible terms. Any reduction to the number of flight attendants is a serious public safety concern," wrote Moist. "Minister, you have repeatedly justified the change to the 1:50 ratio as a mere matter of harmonizing with current U.S. and European ratios. You fail to explain that in contrast to these jurisdictions, the proposed changes will allow airlines to "flip flop" between the two ratios. This untested regulation would be unique in the world, and raises many serious safety concerns."

"We are urgently requesting a meeting at your earliest possible convenience," added Moist. "It is hardly reasonable to suggest that CUPE, the major representative body for flight attendants and with considerable historical and technical background on aviation safety - does not deserve your immediate attention."

To help the airlines' bottom line, Transport Canada intends to force through the proposed regulatory changes to flight attendant to passenger ratios from 1:40 to 1:50 following a mere one-day public consultation on May 22, 2014. That is not enough. CUPE is calling on the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to launch a public inquiry of proposed regulatory changes that will leave emergency exits unattended and put airline passengers at risk.

CUPE represents more than 10,000 flight attendants employed by Air Canada, Air Transat, Calm Air, Canadian North, Canjet, Cathay Pacific, First Air and Sun Wing.

Attached is a copy of the letter forwarded by Paul Moist, CUPE National President, to Lisa Raitt, federal Minister of Transport.

Dear Minister Raitt,

I am writing to you as the President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees representing over 627,000 Canadian workers, and the certified bargaining unit for over 10,000 flight attendants working for Air Canada, Air Transat, Calm Air, Canadian North, Canjet, Cathay Pacific, First Air, and Sunwing.

We remain deeply concerned and are opposed to the proposed changes to reduce the flight attendant to passenger ratios from 1:40 to 1:50 presented by CARAC on May 22, 2014.

We continue to take the position, historically upheld by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, that any changes to flight attendant ratios must be subject to highest level of oversight and should not occur without a parliamentary study. We are particularly concerned by the history of secrecy and suppressed information associated with Transport Canada on this issue, most notably a 2003 risk assessment that we believe was neither open, transparent nor participatory.

Successive Transport Ministers and MPs have rejected changes to the ratio since 2001. Moreover, MPs from all parties serving on the Standing Committee on Transport have repeatedly questioned Transport Canada's motives for regulatory changes to the 1:40 requirement, and insisted on a departmental commitment to notify and consult the committee before proceeding with a regulatory change. Yet despite such opposition, Transport Canada seems intent on forcing through the regulation following a mere one-day public consultation conducted by the Canadian Regulatory Advisory Council (CARAC) on May 22, 2014.

On May 22, 2014, over one hundred flight attendants represented by CUPE raised critically important procedural and substantive concerns related to the consultation process and the proposed regulatory changes. Many more who could not attend due to work schedules have forwarded their comments and concerns to us.

Across Canada, flight attendants and community allies urged Transport Canada on May 22 to hold further consultations before making decisions that will seriously impact public safety. As well, two members of the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities (including the committee vice-chair Hoang Mai) raised serious concerns about the proposed regulatory amendments and lack of scrutiny by parliamentarians. Both members expressed their dismay at not having been informed directly of the consultation, and having only learning about it from concerned flight attendants.

Minister, we reiterate our opposition to the proposed amendments in the strongest possible terms. Any reduction to the number of flight attendants is a serious public safety concern. Indeed, the level of media attention to our comments and concerns can only be taken as proof that the changes are seen as a matter of public interest. Flight attendants are crucial to the safety of all passengers, but in particular more vulnerable groups such as seniors and persons with disabilities, unaccompanied minors, school groups and any other passengers who require extra attention in the event of an emergency. It is widely acknowledged, for example, that a high ratio of flight attendants to passengers was a key factor in the successful evacuation of Air France 358 in 2005. On May 22, representatives from these groups expressed their concerns. We will continue to work with them to bring safety issues forward in a manner that is open and transparent to Canadians.

We do not want another Air France accident to make our point. We believe that the motivation for these changes is to cut labour costs for airlines whose profits are being jeopardized after decades of unfettered deregulation and internal competition. Profits can never be placed before public safety, as the recent Lac Megantic tragedy has once again reminded us.

Minister, you have repeatedly justified the change to the 1:50 ratio as a mere matter of harmonizing with current U.S. and European ratios. You fail to explain that in contrast to these jurisdictions, the proposed changes will allow airlines to "flip flop" between the two ratios. This untested regulation would be unique in the world, and raises serious safety concerns.

For this and numerous other reasons, we are urgently requesting a meeting at your earliest possible convenience. Despite that fact that CARAC represents itself as a consultative body established to consider the opinions of the entire public, it is hardly reasonable to suggest that CUPE, the major representative body for flight attendants and with considerable historical and technical background on aviation safety - does not deserve your immediate attention.

I look forward to your timely response on this urgent issue,

PAUL MOIST, National President

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises a...
Zerto has announced the general availability of Zerto Virtual Replication 4.0 (ZVR 4.0). The company’s enterprise-class business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) software is the first to protect, replicate, and migrate data between VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, as well as across private, hybrid and public cloud environments including Amazon Web Services (AWS). ZVR 4.0 also allows channel partners and cloud service providers to expand their offerings to grow revenues by pr...
Avnet, Inc. has announced that it ranked No. 4 on the InformationWeek Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the U.S. Avnet was recognized for the development of an innovative cloud-based training system that serves as the foundation for Avnet Academy – the company’s education and training organization focused on technical training around top IT vendor technologies. The development of this system allowed Avnet to quickly expand its IT-related training capabilities around...
Docker is becoming very popular--we are seeing every major private and public cloud vendor racing to adopt it. It promises portability and interoperability, and is quickly becoming the currency of the Cloud. In his session at DevOps Summit, Bart Copeland, CEO of ActiveState, discussed why Docker is so important to the future of the cloud, but will also take a step back and show that Docker is actually only one piece of the puzzle. Copeland will outline the bigger picture of where Docker fits a...
This talk focuses on the application of DevOps fundamentals to include network infrastructure. It draws from real deployment case studies on the extension of today's paradigms to address the challenges of the network infrastructures' ability to seamlessly and cohesively integrate into agile workflows. In this session at DevOps Summit, Arista Networks will focus on configuration management using automation with a nod to future work necessary to include telemetry and ephemeral state information....
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
DevOps Summit, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developmen...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud, a provider of enterprise resource planning software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. B2cloud develops the software you need. They have the ideal tools to help you work with your clients. B2Cloud’s main solutions include AGIS – ERP, CLOHC, AGIS – Invoice, and IZUM
As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally – how is cloud impacting your customers? In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco, provided answers to big questions: Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? He also discussed Intercloud and Cisco’s investment on it.
Database apps on mobile devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate for IBM Cloudant, will discuss how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again), whenever an Internet connection is available. He will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with mobile devices in order to build offline-enabled mobile apps that can provide a better,...
It's time to put the "Thing" back in IoT. Whether it’s drones, robots, self-driving cars, ... There are multiple incredible examples of the power of IoT nowadays that are shadowed by announcements of yet another twist on statistics, databases, .... Sorry, I meant, Big Data(TM), tiered storage(TM), complex systems(TM), smart nations(TM), .... In his session at WebRTC Summit, Dr Alex Gouaillard, CTO and Co-Founder of Temasys, will discuss the concrete, cool, examples of IoT already happening tod...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CenturyLink, Inc., a leader in the network services market, has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CenturyLink is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...