Ottawa, ON – On Tuesday April 17th, the IAM petition opposing airport privatization is presented in the House of Commons, then on Friday April 20th, Transport Minister Marc Garneau announces the government will not proceed with airport privatization at this time. Coincidence, perhaps, but there’s no denying we had an impact! “You can’t ignore more than six thousand signatures from the people most affected by this idea,” explains IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “It’s a great example that political action works and I thank our members, their families and friends who signed that petition.”
The government has spent nearly two years on an in-depth study examining the multibillion-dollar potential of selling off key federal assets as a method of raising funds for federal infrastructure projects. For months, Garneau had been avoiding making an announcement on the government’s intentions despite pressure from the IAM and airport authorities from across Canada who were opposed to the idea. During a private meeting this week with airport executives in Ottawa, Garneau admitted the Liberal Government will not move ahead with privatization at this time.
“The government should not have entertained this idea in the first place,” said Pickthall. “History has shown when you privatize crown assets, the costs goes up because there is profit to be made and time and again that profit comes on the backs of workers. If airports are privatized then the cost of using them will increase and that means air travel will be more expensive and the snowball effect begins. The costs are passed onto the customer and to save profit margins, worker’s wages and benefits will be impacted and everybody loses.”
The IAM is the largest union at airports across Canada and the largest union in the Canadian air transport sector.