Trudeau To Offer Air Canada Help

Daniel Fowler
May 19, 2020

Air Canada will cut at least 20,000 jobs, or about half its workforce, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, BNN Bloomberg reported.

Air Canada said it lost $1.05 billion Canadian (US$748 million) in its first quarter, compared with a profit of $345 million in the same period of 2019 as governments imposed travel restrictions around the world due to the pandemic.

The decision comes amid the ongoing closure of borders and confinement measures implemented to slow down the spread of the virus. "This contribution is a key investment that will enable the Red Cross to adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19, as well as help to assist Canadians by equipping, recruiting and training people to be better prepared for events that occur during this pandemic and beyond". The union representing employees says it is in discussions with the airline to extend its participation in the subsidy program.

The airline made a similar decision in March to let go of almost half of its workforce under a cost-reduction scheme, only to rehire some 16,500 laid-off flight attendants, mechanics and customer service agents in April under CEWS - a program it has not committed to participate in past June 6. Under the program, the eligible companies will be receiving a subsidy of 75 percent of an employee's pay, at $847, per week.

At least 10 firefighters injured after explosion in Downtown Los Angeles
Two were initially in critical condition and one in serious condition, but all firefighters were later reported as being stable. More than 200 firefighters rushed to the scene and dozens of engines, trucks and rescue vehicles clogged the streets.

According to sources within the airline, Air Canada is offering a number of incentives to crews in an effort to minister forced redundancies.

Citing an global bulletin from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Canadian Press reported that the airline is set to ask its flight attendants to reduce their schedules, go on leave for up to two years, or resign with travel privileges.

The Canadian Red Cross is playing a critical role in Canada's response to COVID-19.

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