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$5 at Starbucks for Air Canada employees as CEO earns $12.4M

A $5 at Starbucks for Air Canada employees as CEO wins $12.4 million

and Maude Boutet MISE À DAY

Air Canada flight attendants rant about a $5 Starbucks gift card they received from their employer for< /strong> their good services, while the CEO's salary more than tripled in 2022. 

– Read also: Bilingual meeting between François Legault and Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau

– Read also: “Wake up a little”: unable to be served in French on an Air Canada flight

According to information collected by TVA Nouvelles, several employees of the airline received at beginning of April a $5 discount at the popular Seattle brand. Air Canada would like to thank the employees for their hard work during the spring break.  

“Thank you for your great work over the March Break!” reads the emailed message signed by Andrew Yiu, the airline's vice president of inflight services. 

A gift that does not go through

This so-called “staff recognition” offer does not go through with the flight attendants who demonstrated on April 26 at Montréal-Trudeau airport for improving their salary conditions.  

“Nearly 20 to 25% of our time at work in uniform is unpaid…while the CEO of the company, Michael Rousseau, granted himself a 233% increase in his remuneration”, s' protests Guillaume Leduc, of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents Air Canada flight attendants. 

Not enough for a latte

Relying on the most recent menu of the Starbucks chain in Quebec, the flight attendants of the largest Canadian carrier will not have enough of their gift card to buy a small format of latte coffee.&nbsp ;

For several flight attendants contacted by TVA Nouvelles, this attention constitutes much more a slingshot than a gift. 

“I respectfully return your card to you, because I consider it rather an insult”, writes a flight attendant to her company, according to an email we obtained. 

“It almost makes you want to write to him in French”, quips another in reference to Michael Rousseau's difficulties in expressing himself in the language of Molière. 

The discontent is all the greater since several employees received this gift card a few days after learning that their CEO's salary had tripled.

$12.4 million for the CEO

The end of the restrictions on the remuneration of the company's senior executives, imposed by Ottawa in 2021 against federal aid, in fact increased Michael Rousseau's salary from $3.7 million to $12.4 million. Air Canada is sorry if this attention has “been misinterpreted by some”. 

“It was a small gesture intended to mark the arrival of spring and express our gratitude”, s expressed Christophe Hennebelle, the airline's vice-president of communications. 

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