Sunwing Travel Group is bringing 1,800 employees back onto its payroll through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program. The move provides Sunwing’s Canada-based employees with additional financial support for the duration of the wage subsidy’s term.
Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Travel Group, said: “Sunwing was formed on a vision of not only being a high-quality vacation company, but also providing high-quality jobs for Canadians. Unfortunately, during these unprecedented times we had been forced to reduce our workforce.”
Hunter continued: “Throughout this pandemic we have continued to explore all options to support our employees and keep as many employed as possible. This generous program from the Government of Canada is critical and will enable us to do just that. Once these travel restrictions are lifted, we have every intention of resuming operations and recalling our employees as soon as it is feasible.”
The move received unanimous support from Sunwing’s Canadian-based unions: Canadian Airline Dispatchers Association (Dispatchers), Canadian Union of Public Employees (Cabin Crew Members), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Maintenance Mechanics) and Unifor (Pilots).
By participating in the wage subsidy program, it is expected that, depending on wages, many employees will receive higher levels of compensation than they would ordinarily receive through the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance.
These steps are being taken alongside ongoing cost containment measures, including a 50% reduction in pay for Sunwing’s executive team.
In a statement, Sunwing thanked the Government of Canada for its commitment to supporting workers through this difficult time and continues to advocate with all levels of government for dedicated support for the air transportation industry.