Dec 17, 2009

Vancouver Cathay Pacific workers join CUPE

VANCOUVER – Customer service agents working for Cathay Pacific in Vancouver will be represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), following a December 15 green light from the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. These 55 newly organized workers are joining forces with 220 flight attendants in Vancouver and 140 more in Toronto within the Cathay Pacific Component of CUPE.

The certification covers ticketing sales agents, baggage service agents, lounge services agents, gate departure and gate arrivals agents, and any other customer service agents employed by Cathay Pacific Airways Limited at Vancouver International Airport. New CUPE members are looking forward to electing a bargaining committee and preparing to bargain their first collective agreement.

“Cathay Pacific flight attendants in Canada have been well-represented by CUPE over the past 12 years, with three collective agreements and positive union-employer relations. It was a natural choice for their customer service colleagues to join them and have a stronger, collective voice with the employer,” said Sung Wong, president of the Cathay Pacific Component of CUPE.

“It is a great honor to welcome our new Cathay Pacific members. Uniting with their flight attendants colleagues will definitely help them achieve better working conditions. They will certainly appreciate CUPE’s unique expertise in representing airlines workers,” said Nathalie Stringer, Chairperson of the Airline Division of CUPE.

CUPE’s Airline Division represents about 8,500 airline employees across Canada at Air Canada, Air Transat, Calm Air, CanJet, Cathay Pacific and First Air. With 600,000 members overall, CUPE is Canada’s largest union. Its members work in health care, education, municipalities, libraries, universities, social services, public utilities, transportation and emergency services.

COPE 491