THAT was pretty uneventful.
Reading about the Air Canada warnings in my email and checking the news in Vancouver, I thought I'd get out to YVR early to check out the impact of the strike by Air Canada's customer service agents, represented by the Canadian Auto Workers. I arrived bright and early and spotted some pickets out on the sidewalk, walking in circles and only occasionally shouting any kind of anti-management slogan.
I went inside and it was ... utterly normal. I did my check-in online Monday night, so I already had a boarding pass. I deliberately acted confused (no, really) and asked for help. A fellow who didn't look like an Air Canada worker wasn't entirely clear on what to do when I didn't get my baggage tag, but a more experienced worker jumped in and I had it all arranged in seconds.
Jim Wilkes in today's Star suggests Air Canada has hired outside workers, and judging by his description of folks in dark pants and white shirts I think some were out here. Either way, it was pretty simple checking in.
"I guess we're doing a good job," a worker at the check-in counter told me.
"No glitches so far," said someone manning the baggage drop-off belt.
One passenger I spoke with seemed shocked at the ease of his experience.
"I've NEVER checked in that fast before," he said.
Of course, it IS day one. And it's only one experience. But checking the websites out there and listening in on Twitter (you can find me at jbyers11), it sounds pretty much like business as usual for Air Canada today.
If you have any thoughts, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I mentioned the Air Canada situation on Twitter yesterday and got a note from a gentleman in Edmonton, Trevor Zimmerman. He said he's fed up with Air Canada.
"First, front line managers will be ill equipped to deal with the tasks their apparently under valued staff routinely perform, so I seriously doubt they'll make good on their promise" to carry on as normal.
He also said it's important that employees exercise their democratic rights in the workplace.
"If Canadians want to see the restoration of the middle class, it's time we started to respect the decisions of our fellow citizens to hold the line on cutbacks imposed by profitable organizations.
I hope more employees in more organizations grow the backbone the customer service staff at Air Canada are showing and tell their millionaire CEO bosses that they're in the wrong."