Sunwing backs away from intention to hire temporary foreign pilots

Unifor made this announcement:

Sunwing pilots are celebrating news the company has decided to abandon its intention to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) to boost staffing levels.

Unifor launched a public campaign after it became aware of potential safety issues stemming from hiring pilots from countries with less rigorous training requirements.

The company is able to do this under the guise of professing there is a labour shortage, when the real issue is investing in training for local pilots.

In mid-October, Unifor sent letters to Sunwing President Len Corrado and to Steven West, the director of the federal government’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program overseen by Employment and Social Development Canada.

Those letters charged that Sunwing Airlines has not done enough to fill open positions by hiring permanent pilots within Canada. The union recommended that West deny the airline’s Temporary Foreign Worker applications.

The airline had planned on hiring roughly 65 foreign temporary pilots this winter to operate from various Canadian gateways, to alleviate worker shortage as pandemic restrictions ease and travel continues to ramp up. Sunwing had planned to pay the European pilots a higher rate than full-time Canadian Unifor pilots.

Unifor Local 7378 continues to look for mutually beneficial solutions that will minimize any disruption over the winter period.

Unifor represents 16,000 members across Canada in the aviation sector, including 550 members who work for Swissport, a contract company doing work for Sunwing in Vancouver and Toronto.

Top Copyright Photo: Sunwing Airlines (flysunwing.com) Boeing 737-800 SSWL C-GLRN (msn 41353) PMI (Ton Jochems). Image: 959599.

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