For almost the entire year of 2020, the IAM has been lobbying the Federal Government for assistance directed toward the aviation sector. IAM members and their families are urged to support our ongoing efforts by signing onto the Federal NDP’s petition: https://www.ndp.ca/aviation.
2020 has been a year like no other – that is something on which we all can agree. And the Air Transportation and Aviation sector has been impacted to an extent never before witnessed. This has been devastating to our IAM membership across Canada, and to workers in transportation and airports particularly.
We have seen untold thousands of workers laid off as a direct result of the pandemic that is sweeping the globe, and the prospects aren’t improving. As I write these words, Greater Toronto is commencing a second lockdown that will likely take us to Christmas and beyond; Manitobans are being told to stay home unless absolutely necessary; and legislatures across the country are telling Canadians not to travel or even visit their families over the coming weeks.
It is clear that something must be done to aid the aviation and travel industry, but what form should that take? How do we get support for aviation, and also get Canadians flying again?
The IAM has called for re-nationalization of Air Canada, or at the very least for the Federal Government to take an equity stake in air transportation providers. Canada must have a voice in how the industry moves forward and serves Canadians.
In support of this, last week, the IAM and CUPE jointly authored a letter to Federal Ministers Chrystia Freeland and Marc Garneau, requesting that they move forward with measures to protect the industry and particularly the tens of thousands of workers this industry employs. Main themes of the letter are bulleted below:
- Demand for sector-specific financial assistance for the aviation industry.
- Supports to retain employees and maintain a skilled workforce.
- Support must put workers interests first; not for executive compensation and buy-outs.
- Coordinate with industry partners and stakeholders to build a cohesive response to the crisis.
- Accurate information to build consumer confidence (risk of in-flight transmission is very low).
The Issue of consumer confidence in flying is a significant one for IAM members, and the IAM calls on the Federal Government to move forward with rapid-testing options to be made available in every jurisdiction and every airport across Canada. This technology has been developed and is soon becoming available throughout several sectors in Canada. Implementing this technology in Canada’s airports will be a significant factor in instilling consumer confidence, and returning Canadians to the skies.
Rapid testing technology must be implemented nationally as quickly as possible!
There are many factors in the decision-making process related to support for Canada’s aviation industry. The IAM continues to push for solutions, and our members continue to lobby their MP’s and legislators at every level of government. I urge all members to contact their Federal and Provincial legislators, and urge them to prioritize aviation as if our future depends upon it.
I urge all members to contact their Federal and Provincial legislators, and urge them to prioritize aviation.
Our future depends upon it.
General Vice President