Monday,  October 2, 2023  6:57 am

Cathay Pacific's Toronto closure puts 120 flight attendants out of work

Cathay Pacific's Toronto closure puts 120 flight attendants out of work
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

Cathay Pacific is closing its crew base in Toronto, meaning roughly 120 flight attendants will lose their jobs.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the airline made the move to shut down the Toronto base as part of an ongoing business review.

CUPE Local 4088, the union representing Cathay Pacific flight attendants in Toronto and Vancouver, said in a statement on its website:

"CUPE is deeply dismayed by Cathay Pacific’s announcement that the company intends to close its Toronto base, which will cause more than 120 flight attendants to lose their jobs. 

Apart from our immediate concern for the welfare of these employees, who are hard-working members of CUPE 4088, we are also disappointed that the Employer would open its latest round of bargaining with this Local by announcing the closure of one of its bases."

What happened?

Last month, Cathay Pacific announced its intention to contract out 100 per cent of its customer service agents at the Vancouver airport as of July 3, affecting another 46 of CUPE Local 4088's members. 

The latest development—and what CUPE calls "a lack of consultation surrounding the decision"—reflects a "disturbing pattern of indifference by the Company toward its loyal employees, and a lack of respect for the unionized workplace."

The statement goes on to say that the airline could have better worked with CUPE to address its financial concerns without having to close the Toronto base.

In a statement to PAX, Julie Jarratt, communications director, Americas, Cathay Pacific, said:

"As part of our on-going business review, we have made a decision to close down our Toronto cabin crew base. There are no current plans to close other Cathay Pacific outport cabin crew bases.

There are currently 120 cabin crew based in Toronto. We are communicating with the union and exploring options for potentially affected colleagues including opportunities in other bases, subject to local regulations.

We are committed to the Canadian market and passengers flying between Hong Kong and Toronto will always enjoy the signature Cathay Pacific service."

There is no word yet if the airline intends to close other Canadian bases.

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