Air Canada flight attendants are alleging they're facing rampant sexual harassment and discrimination on the job. And their union, CUPE, just filed a groundbreaking complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Among the complaints, Air Canada is allegedly instructing flight attendants to dress to "show more cleavage", "strut their stuff", freshen up hair and makeup on the job -- and even line up for humiliating physical critiques on flights through the onboard service managers program. It is not 1940. This objectification needs to end.
Thanks in part to our pressure, Air Canada's main competitor, WestJet, is already facing a massive sexual harassment scandal that has blown the cover on a systemic culture of harassment and assault, and put major pressure on its executive team to take urgent action. And the CEO just resigned.
Air Canada's executives are denying this is a systemic issue -- but a public outcry while this issue is in the news could be the tipping point that forces the airline to take action.
Call on Air Canada to review and amend its policies and end the onboard flight managers program now.
What is happening at Air Canada is unfortunately happening across the industry. But flight attendants -- and pilots -- are fighting back. Just last week, the head of the US flight attendants union called for airline CEOs to denounce objectification of flight attendants. And earlier this month, a pilot at Alaska Airlines bravely came forward to share her story of being drugged and assaulted by another pilot.
Over the years and to this day, airlines have ordered employees to lose weight, have a body mass index (BMI) within a certain range, have teeth that fit a set of requirements, along with many other requirements. These policies contribute to an overall sense that it is okay to objectify flight attendants who are overwhelmingly women. It is high time these requirements and this culture change.
Close to 40,000 SumOfUs members have supported Mandalena Lewis in her ongoing fight for justice against sexual assault and harassment at WestJet. Now, let's support Air Canada's flight attendants in their fight to end sexual harassment and discrimination at their airline.
Air Canada: your sexual harassment culture must end. Review and amend your policies and end the onboard service managers program now.
Together, we are helping change a culture inside the airline industry and in the entire corporate sector that normalizes sexual harassment and forces survivors to be responsible themselves to fight for justice.
Women shouldn't face harassment of any kind at their respective workplaces. Not at this airline. Not at any company. And Air Canada needs to do better.