Flair flight attendants issue 72-hour strike notice
Published Saturday, December 8, 2018 1:02PM PST
Flair Airlines is facing turbulence after a union representing 139 of its flight attendants filed a 72-hour strike notice.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees has issued the notice for Local 4060 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement.
“We’ve reached an impasse. We’re really stuck on it," said Gary Yee, a CUPE representative.
Local 4060 has been bargaining with the airline for nearly a year. A major point of contention is a two-tier wage system that would see new hires be paid about $10 less than current flight attendants.
"We think that's unfair," Yee said. "By introducing a two-tier wage system, you have two groups of people in your workplace doing the same work, with the same responsibilities and making two different wages.”
In an email response from the low-cost carrier, it said the company has been paying its flight attendants about 30 per cent more than its competitors.
"We cannot continue to pay this kind of premium, and have requested all new flight attendants start at the same wages as our competitors," the email said.
"Our aircrew is at the heart of our organization, and we believe our current offer provides a high quality of life for our flight attendants, while ensuring our business remains sustainable."
The union said travellers will see a gradual increase in job action, starting with service disruptions on flights.
It said there are no plans to ground any flights but the job action could possibly escalate to rotating strikes before picketing at airports.
The discount carrier flies out of Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto.
The strike notice expires midnight on Monday, Dec. 10, putting the local in a legal strike position.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Allison Hurst