Nova Scotia

18 CanJet flight attendants laid off in Halifax

CanJet Airlines has laid off all of its flight attendants based in Halifax, according to the union that represents them.

CanJet Airlines has laid off all of its flight attendants based in Halifax, according to the union that represents them.

Mary Fougere, the president of Local 4044 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said the 18 employees found out about the layoffs earlier this week.

"It really did come as a great shock to us," she told CBC News on Thursday.

"We have asked if there is any intent on recall in the near future and they said that they have absolutely no foreseeable date in the near future whereby any of these flight attendants will be recalled to work in Halifax."

CanJet, a division of IMP Group Ltd., pulled out of the scheduled airline business in September 2006 to focus on charters.

In 2010, the company laid off 27 workers because the charter business in Atlantic Canada wasn't doing as well as hoped.

Fougere, who is one of the 18 flight attendants who got their notices this week, said the affected employees represent all the staff who are currently based in Halifax.

"We were the only ones that were laid off in the company. Currently the company has flight attendants stationed nationally in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver as well," she said.

"The company has said that the sustainability of flying in the Halifax region or in the Atlantic region is just not possible."

Fougere said some of the affected employees have the right to bump flight attendants in other regions out of their jobs, but many are reluctant to uproot their families.

"The only way to protect employment is to essentially uproot their entire lives," she said.

"They're senior members in the company and have deep roots within the community and so it's a very traumatic thing to be presented with, in such a short period of time."

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