Air Transat flight attendants reject tentative deal again

CUPE’s Air Transat Component has announced that its 2,100 flight attendant members have rejected the tentative agreement reached on Jan. 7.

At the end of a five-session general assembly process followed by a 10-day voting period, 81.9% of them voted no, with 88.7% participating in the vote. Remuneration for hours worked on the ground before takeoff and after landing as well as the question of onboard staffing were the main sticking points.

The voting process also included a question on whether to renew the strike mandate which had expired on Jan. 23. The members voted 94.6% in favour of a new mandate, which will remain in effect until April 1, 2024.

The parties will return to the negotiating table quickly to resume discussions.

To prioritize the resumption of negotiations, the union will not issue any further comments on the refusal of the tentative agreement.

The previous collective agreement for these flight attendants, based at airports in Montreal (YUL) and Toronto (YYZ), expired on Oct. 31, 2022. Negotiations began officially on April 27, 2023.

On Nov. 27, during general assemblies, the flight attendants adopted a strike mandate by a nearly unanimous vote of 99.8%, by far the highest tally in the history of CUPE’s Air Transat Component.

On Dec. 14, an initial tentative agreement was reached. On January 2, the union announced that flight attendants had voted 98.1% to reject it, with 87% of members participating in the vote.