Airline Industry Changes Needed

November 19, 1997

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Airline Industry Changes Needed
Airline Industry Changes Needed
dated November 19, 1997

Airline Industry Changes Needed
Almost one year after workers from Canadian Airlines were forced to take a pay cut, the government has done nothing to prevent another crisis. CAW national president Buzz Hargrove made that point to delegates attending a public policy forum on the future of the Canadian airline industry.

The conference and the Ministry of Transport's, Committee on Air Policy are part of the Canadian Airlines restructuring agreement made with its workers represented by CAW.

CAW and the other airline union presented a series of recommendations including:
. New regulation on capacities and routes
. Airfare structures
. Air Carrier Financial fitness
. Commercial viability
. And Workers Rights
The committee ignored labour's suggestions for policy changes and made no recommendations on deregulation to the minister.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"We can and should act now to re-impose sensible economic controls on the industry. I would recommend that we limit capacity additions to match demand and surely there's enough brains within this industry to do that without limiting competition"

The committee report encouraged positive thinking about the industry's future, ignoring the Canadian Airlines example. Airline management pointed to the current stability of the industry as proof that deregulation works. But Hargrove argued there's more to this than just money, stating airlines should be an intricate part of nation building as they were originally intended.

Buzz Hargrove
CAW National President

"There are a lot of northern communities today that are either lost their service completely or only have one airline fly in with a monopoly and rip off the consumer. And this is the deregulated economy that you' re saying we should have more of. I'm sorry, I can't buy it, I don't see the logic of it".

Since the arrival of deregulation, the number of airlines in Canada has declined and thousands of jobs disappeared, fares continue to soar and consumer choice decreases.

Denise Hill
Airline Division

"Airline deregulation has failed to realize its promises in Canada. It is a public policy failure for the industry, consumers and workers. For the industry we have an unstable structure, characterized by destructive capacity and air wars."

CAW will continue to pressure the government to make meaningful and effective changes to bring about long term stabilization of the airline industry.

CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference

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