To All IAMAW Members
2020 Novel Coronavirus Update
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Concerns centered on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are very much on our minds, especially as
we work with the travelling public and provide cleaning and maintenance on our aircraft. Like all new
viruses, there is evolving research regarding transmission, infection and disease. Human to human
transmission has been confirmed for COVID-19 and there is ongoing research on how easily the virus
can be transmitted.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that typically cause mild respiratory disease, such as the
common cold. However, at least twice previously, coronaviruses have emerged to infect people and
cause severe disease, such as has been seen with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The cases in Wuhan, China – Pneumonia outbreaks
have tested negative for both SARS and MERS. To date, the notable symptoms are of COVID-19:
Lower respiratory tract illness and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
District Lodge 140 Health & Safety has been constantly monitoring the evolving situation in
consultation with the Air Canada Corporate Safety Team. We have also had conference calls
with other Union groups – (CUPE, ACPA, CALDA, and UNIFOR) discussing all our concerns with the
COVID-19 in the workplace.
Air Canada is also monitoring this situation in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada
(PHAC), Transport Canada and Global Affairs. The Airline has been keeping our members updated
on the situation frequently via bulletins and FAQ notices as the situation develops.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Public Health Emergency of International
Concern (PHEIC) as of January 30, 2020. A PHEIC is meant to mobilize international response and
facilitate practical measures that can significantly aid in the control of an outbreak. General observed
vigilance including standard health precautions, have been issued by health organizations such as
the WHO, PHAC and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As per the PHAC, the
immediate health risk from the COVID-19 to the general Canadian public is still deemed low at this
In addition, members of the IAMAW Joint Air Transport Safety Committee (JATSC) (Grand Lodge
H&S Committee) have been very involved in these issues that concern the varied jobs that our
members perform across North America. The JATSC have also participated in conference calls
with our respective airlines that have included the Medical, Safety, Emergency Preparedness, and
operating departments to discuss the adequacy of current policies and procedures.
JATSC members are also sharing information with other aviation union affiliates of the AFL-CIO’s
Transportation Trades Department along with principles and senior officials from agencies charged
with aviation safety, health and security about a coordinated response to the ongoing Novel
2020 Novel Coronavirus Update /2
As this issue continues to unfold, we will likely learn more about this virus and how to effectively
protect ourselves, but there are some basic precautions that you should take:
1. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, as soon as they are
available. The CDC states that hands should be rubbed in soap lather for at least 20 seconds.
2. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers (60% or more of alcohol) can be used when water is not readily
available. The World Health Organization advises that washing hands with soap and water or
using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
4. Know and understand your company’s policy on protection from the virus and follow the
policies. Don’t take short cuts.
5. Make sure that you are aware of any bulletins, alerts, or protocols that your employer has
communicated concerning the Coronavirus. The CDC (Center for Disease Control), the WHO,
and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) all have a lot of current info on the
virus as well.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath,
within 14 days after travel from China or outside of North America, you should call ahead to a
Healthcare Professional and mention your recent travel. In addition, if you have had close contact
with someone showing these symptoms who has also recently travelled from these areas, you should
call ahead to a Healthcare Professional and mention your close contact and their recent travel. Your
Healthcare Professional will work with the local public health authority to determine if you need to be
tested for the COVID-19 virus.
For additional information can be found below:
District Lodge 140 H&S and the JATSC will continue to participate in these discussions, providing
input concerning our member’s protection and will continue to update this situation as more
information becomes available.
IAMAW District Lodge 140 H&S Coordinator
JATSC Member representing DL 140