Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

January 23, 2017 13:44 ET

Risk of turbulence at Sunwing: flight attendants give union a strong strike mandate

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 23, 2017) - Sunwing's flight attendants gave their union a strong strike mandate to force the company to agree to the fair deal they deserve when bargaining resumes on January 26. Today, 94.6 per cent of CUPE local 4055 members gave their bargaining committee the green light to take job action, up to and including a strike, when it is judged appropriate.

"Sunwing's cabin safety professionals care about their passengers. They want their employer to treat them with dignity and respect, and that starts with a collective agreement that will significantly improve their working conditions," said CUPE Local 4055 President, Mark Brancelj.

"We want to negotiate a fair deal for both parties, and continue to offer a quality experience to our passengers. But if Sunwing does not agree to further improvements to our collective agreement, there is a risk of turbulence ahead. It is not our first option, but we won't hesite to use our strike mandate if need be," added Brancelj.

Bargaining sessions with the assistance of a mediator are scheduled for January 26 and 27.

The vote in favor of a strike mandate took place from January 14 to January 23. 91,7 per cent of CUPE Local 4055 members voted.

CUPE Local 4055 represents 1,000 flight attendants working at Sunwing's eight bases: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Winnipeg.

On December 20, the members rejected a tentative agreement reached with the employer. In early January, the bargaining committee visited all of Sunwing's bases across the country to listen to the members and hear what additional improvements should be made to their collective agreement.

The flight attendants' collective agreement expired on May 31, 2016.

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