Airlines Asking Staff to Work for Free?

An article from CBC: Summer travel surge has WestJet and Air Canada asking for volunteer help is reporting that Canadian airlines are now asking their staff to work for free.

The U.S. had Delta Air Lines and American Airlines already doing this back in May and June of 2021 respectively. You know the Canadian saying: “Only in the U.S.”

Well it is happening in Canada. We normally avoid negative posts, to keep things positive. But every now and then, we tend to make an exception if it is something that we should bring to light.

Arguments for and against

We try to be as balanced as possible, so on the one hand, the airlines may claim that they face a cash crunch, so they cannot pay their employees money that they do not have.

But on the other hand, when the government announced bailouts (CTV article: Air Canada gave out $10M in bonuses amid bailout negotiations with Ottawa), I think that this will be a tough bill to swallow for the front line airline workers.


This does seem like a very controversial move by the airlines. Furthermore, there probably is some insurance liability issues when someone is working for free. Volunteering, even if they are an existing staff, may have different policies in place. I just hope that their job is not on the line if they refuse to work for free.

Either way, if you happen to be at the airport, feel free to share your first hand experience. Or feel free to share your thoughts on this matter in the comment section below!

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