Flight attendants at Air Transat, one of Canada’s leading airlines, have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike mandate, signaling potential disruptions if ongoing contract negotiations fail to reach an agreement.
Strong Support for Strike Action
According to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the 2,100 flight attendants at Air Transat, the workers voted 99.8 percent in favor of the strike mandate. This decisive vote underscores the significant discontent among the workforce regarding current contract terms.
Critical Stage in Negotiations
Dominic Levasseur, president of the Air Transat component of CUPE, emphasized the crucial nature of the ongoing negotiations. “The next few weeks of negotiations will be critical,” Levasseur said. He expressed optimism about reaching a new contract without resorting to a strike but noted that the union’s members hold high expectations and are extremely motivated.
Expired Collective Agreement
The existing collective agreement for the flight attendants, based at airports in Montreal and Toronto, expired on October 31, 2022. The failure to renew the contract has led to the current standoff between the airline and its flight attendants.
Air Transat’s Position
Air Transat, owned by the travel company Transat AT Inc., has yet to publicly comment on the strike mandate. The airline, known for its international and domestic flights, faces potential operational challenges if a strike materializes.
Implications for Travelers
The approval of a strike mandate by Air Transat’s flight attendants raises concerns for travelers, especially as the airline industry continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A strike could lead to significant disruptions, including flight cancellations and delays, affecting thousands of passengers.