Union representing Flair Airlines flight attendants issues strike notice

The union representing 139 Flair Airlines flight attendants has issued a 72-hour strike notice.

Flight attendants employed by low-cost carrier Flair Airlines are prepared to go on strike Monday amid concerns about wages and scheduling.

The 139 flight attendants are represented by The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which filed a 72-hour strike notice on Friday.

The CUPE Local 4060 represents employees in Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Abbotsford and Hamilton.

The strike notice expires Monday at midnight.

Flair Airlines and the union have been unable to reach agreements on wages, pensions and scheduling issues, CUPE said in a news release.

“For the past several weeks, this employer has steadfastly refused to step away from its position of two-tier wages and benefits, which is fundamentally unfair,” said CUPE representative Gary Yee.

“Flair is transparently engaging in a divide and conquer strategy aimed at driving a wedge between workers in order to compete with other ultra-low-cost carriers. It is completely unfair to pay one group of flight attendants 30 per cent less for doing the same work as other flight attendants.”

In an emailed statement, Flair Airlines spokesperson Iris Dias said the company’s flight attendants have historically been paid starting wages that are 30 per cent higher than its competitors.

“We cannot continue to pay this kind of premium, and have requested all new flight attendants start at the same wages as our competitors,” the statement reads.

“Our aircrew is at the heart of our organization, and we believe our current offer provides a high quality of life for our flight attendants, while ensuring our business remains sustainable.”

Many flight attendants have contacted management to say they’ll continue working during the potential strike, Dias said.

Problems with Flair Air flights on Monday are not expected, but the airline recommends travellers check its website for flight status updates.