Did you know flight attendants in Canada work for an average of 35 hours for free every month?
Because airlines don’t pay flight attendants for duties like assisting passengers with boarding, pre-flight safety checks, deplaning, and other delays, flight attendants spend nearly a full workweek every month working for free. Even though they’re on the job in uniform and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of their passengers. In Canada in 2023.
Think that’s messed up? So do we.
Add your voice to tell the federal government and the big airlines: unpaid work won’t fly!
CUPE’s Airline Division represents approximately 18,500 flight attendants at Air Canada (including Air Canada Rouge), WestJet (including WestJet Encore and Swoop), Air Transat, Sunwing, Calm Air, PAL Airlines, Canadian North, Flair Airlines, Pivot, and PasCan.
WHAT DO FLIGHT ATTENDANTS DO?
There’s more to a flight attendant’s job than drink service and the in-flight safety demo – a lot more.
Flight attendants are responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers along with the safety and security of the plane itself on the ground and at 25,000 feet.
Flight attendants must know the planes they’re working on, from the oxygen system to lighting, water and waste systems, and controlling cabin comfort. They may identify aircraft needs like de-icing and propeller abnormalities, and they carry out safety checks for windows, equipment, and potential leaks, spills or structural damage inside the aircraft.
Flight attendants are in charge of passenger safety too, ensuring safety rules and procedures are being observed, and assisting with mobility-impaired passengers, unaccompanied minors, service animals. They must know everything from emergency response protocols to first aid, from dealing with unruly passengers to putting out fires onboard. They are also trained to deal with everything from dangerous goods to a death on board.
All of this, of course, requires an extensive amount of training – and re-training annually too. Flight attendants are in a constant cycle of keeping their training up to date.
Some of these duties are paid, but many are paid at or below the federal minimum wage, and even more are not paid at all, depending on which airline you work for. Our message is simple: if a flight attendant is at work, in uniform, performing work duties – they should be getting paid!
Stay up to date!
- Take the survey and share your experience of unpaid work.
- Our petition to end unpaid work garnered more than 17,000 signatures.
- CUPE's Airline Division stands with Air Transat flight attendants
- Air Transat strike on the horizon
- Canada's flight attendant union denounces Legault government's abandonment of regional airlines
- Pascan Aviation layoffs mean the loss of an essential service for Quebec regions
- Trudeau government sides with big airlines, turns blind eye to unpaid work: CUPE
- Help CUPE's Airline Division fight unpaid work
- Historic petition to end unpaid work for flight attendants lands in the House of Commons
- Poilievre shouldn’t have been given access to flight PA system – union
- Statement regarding the use of a WestJet flight PA system by Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre
National Day of Action April 25
On April 25, at airports across the country, we brought our message out loud and clear: unpaid work won’t fly! Thank you to everyone who joined or supported us from afar.
How is unpaid work affecting you? Let CUPE’s Airline Division know.