Shocking difference in US and Canadian approaches to airline industry

Shocking difference in US and Canadian approaches to airline industry

For immediate release
08 April, 2021

Toronto, ON – The Canadian government is facing mounting criticism over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it be the availability of the COVID vaccine, the vaccination plan or lack of a plan about jobs and the economy, they have been facing increasing pressure.

One specific industry that has been abandoned is the airline industry. Canada remains the only G7 nation yet to provide an aid package to the airline industry. “Negotiations with airlines need to become a priority for this government. Thousands of jobs are at risk. Workers livelihoods are in the balance. This government will be judged on their inaction during this pandemic,” said a frustrated Stan Pickthall, IAM General Vice President Canada.

The IAM has been advocating for help for the industry for more than a year.

Over the Easter long weekend, the difference in numbers travelling was staggering. On April 1, 2021 the US Transportation Security Administration reported that 1,562,239 passengers went through US checkpoints. On the same day in 2019 (pre-pandemic), US security checkpoints handled 2,411,500 passengers. By contrast in Canada, the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority reported that on April 1, 2021, security checkpoints handled 18,831 while on the same date in 2019 handled 164,399.

“The air transportation industry in the US has seen a quicker rebound due to aid provided to the industry, no quarantining periods and a better roll out of the vaccination. The IAM again is calling on the government to expedite the vaccination plans, remove the quarantining periods and provide aid to an airline industry that is vital to the Canadian economy. We still have a significant number of members in air transportation out of work that will remember this government’s inaction the next time they go to the polls,” concluded Pickthall.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) is Canada’s largest union representing aviation, airlines, airports and aerospace workers. The union represents over 20,000 members in the air transportation sector across Canada.

Links for information:

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For more information:
Keith Aiken (Twitter @KeithAikenIAM)
IAM Canada Airline Coordinator