Aviation workers marked what they call “the one-year anniversary of federal inaction on aviation” on Tuesday, renewing demands that Ottawa follow the lead of other governments to develop a national recovery plan to ensure the industry’s survival.
“Governments around the world acted swiftly to support their aviation sector. The Government of Canada disturbingly stands alone when it comes to turning its back on aviation workers,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President at a press conference which was streamed on Facebook.
“Canada can’t have a safe economic recovery without a healthy aviation sector,” he said.
Dias was joined by several Unifor local union presidents representing 15,000 aviation workers who are calling on Ottawa to release a recovery plan that ensures air services are preserved and remote locations do not lose their connections to medicine, business, family and friends.
It is also recommending that a national recovery plan include a process to safely reopen borders in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Universal Standard to implement rapid testing and dynamic quarantine.
Unifor is part of an industry-wide coalition that has been sounding the alarm about the aviation sector’s dire state since it was grounded by the pandemic. The union published a detailed policy paper filled with “science-based” proposals to get the industry back on its feet and aviation workers back to work.
“We’ve worked with employers and experts to present sensible options for the government,” said Dias. “One year of inaction is a shameful anniversary. What is the federal government waiting for?”