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Flight attendants rally at YVR against unpaid work

Flight attendants work almost 35 hours for free every month: union president
About 200 flight attendants gathered at YVR on Tuesday morning to end unpaid work. | Valerie Leung, Richmond News

Red signs and car honking could be seen and heard throughout the airport starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday as about 200 flight attendants rallied to end what they’re claiming is “unpaid work” in the airline sector across Canada.

The average flight attendant in Canada works almost 35 hours every month for free, since they’re not paid until the plane is in motion, according to Wesley Lesosky, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees' (CUPE) airline division, which represents approximately 18,500 Canadian flight attendants at 10 airlines nationwide.

“I’m really impressed by the turnout today,” said Lesosky.

He added employees showed up at 9 a.m. and have spoken with the public who were curious about the campaign.

“We’ve had a lot of passengers flowing through here (who) have asked for information. Some cars even stopped so we’ve definitely received positive feedback.”

The Richmond News has reached out to several airlines for information, but none have responded.