I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, because this question is posed in a genuine spirit of inquiry. But I am dead curious to know what essential function flight attendants perform that would justify the government getting involved in their labour dispute. Is there no manager-level employee that can be substituted to fulfill whatever legal requirements there are? Will the airline really be grounded if the passengers don’t get their complimentary coke? This smacks of none-of-your-damn-business. Or that the politicians are worried they might be -gasp- inconvenienced.
According to the CBC, the Canada Industrial Relations Board can issue an order to stop a strike if it determines that it could “pose an immediate and serious danger to the safety or health of the public.” While I honestly can’t imagine any threat to public health or safety, I can see major problems if the flight attendants’ demands are met and the airline subsequently goes bankrupt. But health and safety? I’m just not seeing it. Teachers, nurses, firefighters, police… But flight attendants? I’m not convinced.
I think it is ironic that they are considering recalling Parliament to legislate them back to work. Oh but wait… However will the MPs get to Ottawa without in-flight service? Seriously, just let the market sort it out.