Amongst the various announcements made during the presentation of the federal budget was an important win for precarious workers in the aviation industry. Within our private sector members, the possibility of a reduction in salary or being unemployed as a result of contract flipping is a very real threat to their security. Firefighters, trades people, fuellers, security workers are all at risk. Most recently, UCTE members who work in the administration and trades at ORSI in Hay River, NWT came face to face with the harsh reality.
Since 2019, UCTE has actively participated in discussions with Labour Canada to make improvements to the Canadian Labour Code. Many of these have resulted in health and safety protections for students or interns and improvements to leave of absence provisions (see previous article).
The good news is that UCTE was able to affect some progress. The 2022 federal budget contained the following announcement:
To better protect [contract workers in the air transportation sector], the government is announcing its intention to introduce legislation that would extend equal remuneration protection to more employees in the air transportation sector. This would ensure that, when a service contract changes hands, affected employees are not paid less, if they are laid off and rehired to do the same work they were doing before.
This is a huge win for our members in the aviation industry; however, our work is not done. UCTE will continue to push for this protection from contract flipping to be extended to all federally regulated employees, regardless of industry and thereby ensuring the same right for all of our members.