Air Canada recently announced the mandatory vaccination of its workers -- including flight attendants represented by the CUPE union.
The announcement was made in a press release. It was not circulated among Air Canada employees, and flight attendants were not consulted about the impact this policy may have on their health, safety, privacy, and employment rights.
It's a union's job to advocate for its members to ensure that there is no unjustified intrusion on their rights. CUPE -- and other unions -- have arbitrarily refused to consult with, and advocate for its members, and has been completely absent in this matter.
That's why we, in partnership with The Democracy fund, have taken on our anonymous plaintiff's case and have hired a team of lawyers to fight this vaccine mandate in court.
The battle started in September, with a letter on behalf of our flight attendant to the union, demanding that they represent her.
You can read the letter to CUPE right here:
CUPE wouldn't budge. So our flight attendant took CUPE to the industrial relations board -- in effect, she was suing CUPE for refusing to represent her.
Faced with the prospect of a hearing, CUPE blinked -- and finally, after two months of resisting, agreed to grieve the vaccine policy!
You can read the 344-page filing here:
This is great news. The battle isn't over, but it's a sign that if workers across the country fight back, they can reclaim their rights -- and unions can be shamed into doing the right thing, and supporting their members.
If you are an Air Canada employee who wants to get involved or just wants to stay up to date with our Air Canada battle, please fill out the form on this page.
In the weeks ahead, we'll have more updates from our grievance battle. And we'll let you know about a special Zoom town hall meeting, where we'll have our lawyers give you a briefing, and we'll have other special guest speakers, too.
Finally: if you want to help us crowdfund this important legal work, please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to The Democracy Fund, a civil liberties charity hiring lawyers to fight vaccine passports!
You can also listen to Ezra's interview with one of the key lawyers on the case here: