About 2,000 Air Canada employees across the country will be laid off within the next year, yet some local employees are hardly surprised by the news.
“We’re used to it,” said a man who works in passenger services who asked to remain anonymous. Shrugging off the news, he added: “We see it all the time, the layoffs and hires.”
Another employee, a flight attendant of 12 years, shared the same jaded sentiment.
“I’ve been through so many layoffs already,” she said. “There have been so many over the years, so some of us have been through it many times.”
According to Leslie Dias, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 2002, which represents Air Canada employees across the country, about 99 workers will be laid off at Vancouver International Airport alone — nearly one in four of its roughly 450 employees.
“We’re really disappointed, and to some extent there is a fair bit of anger out there,” she said. “The reality is that our members — Air Canada employees in general — have sustained difficult times for many years.”
Dias added that there will be cuts in flights to Asia, which will likely have a significant effect on Vancouver, which is a gateway. Another employee said there would be no more Vancouver-Osaka flights.
Air Canada will be cutting a total of 2,000 jobs across the country and crimp its capacity by seven per cent as a result of soaring gas prices. The company says every dollar-per-barrel increase equates to an additional $26 million for the airline every year.
The company will first approach senior members with buyout options. It will then resort to laying off its most junior members, according to employees.