More than 16,000 workers laid off by Air Canada last week in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are being hired back by the airline.
The news — first reported by the Star — was confirmed in a press release by the airline. The announcement comes after discussions between federal officials, the airline and its unions about whether the company would be eligible for the 75 per cent wage subsidy announced as part of the government’s COVID-19 aid package.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), announced April 1, is directed at companies that have seen their revenues drop by at least 30 per cent because of the pandemic.
According to their press release the airline meets that qualification. Air Canada didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The rehiring would be retroactive to March 15 and run at least until the end of the CEWS program on June 6. The release quotes Air Canada CEO Calin Rovanescu.
“The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is an extremely important program to help employees and employers during this time of crisis, and as one of Canada’s largest employers most affected by COVID-19, we want to acknowledge the leadership of the Government of Canada in introducing it,” Rovinescu said in the release. Rovinescu and Air Canada’s chief financial officer, Michael Rousseau, are also giving up 100 per cent of their salaries, the press release said…