As of June 1, 2017, the IAM will kick off our national “Anti-Airport Privatization” campaign with the support of all Local Lodges within District Lodge 140.
Our preparations for this campaign began at the recent IAM Transportation Conference held on April 2017. Delegates discussed the reasons why privatizing airports is bad for our members, the flying public, and the national airlines in Canada, and developed a unified message to deliver to their respective Members of Parliament.
Several weeks ago, the IAM Canadian office held a conference call with key people in the local lodges and Political Action Committees and finalized a strategic plan. Kits with pertinent information have been distributed to all District Lodge 140 locals and now the hard work begins. Locals have started setting appointments with key Liberal MPs in major Canadian cities and our members will be meeting with these MPs to explain why privatizing airports is a bad idea for Canada.
By changing the current airport model into a for-profit scheme, costs will rise as they already have in places such as the UK and Australia where higher rents and fees became a reality once fully privatized, despite assurances to the contrary. The increased costs were passed on from the airport authorities to the airlines and finally down to the passenger. We should learn from others’ mistakes and stop the privatization now!
The Canadian government can do many things rather than privatize airports: a) improve the legislation to allow the airport authorities to better manage their operations; and have better access to funding to improve facilities without raising costs; b) introduce a labour voice into their boards to echo concerns from the tens of thousands who work at each airport; c) stop contract-flipping which hurts workers, service and those using the airports; d) use taxes collected from the Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC) to be used exclusively for airport security as was originally intended; e) ensure safety is held at the highest level for all workers and passengers using the airport and, finally f) raise the minimum wages for airport workers so they can live in dignity.
The Liberal Government promised to strengthen the middle class in Canada, and there is a lot that can be done within the airports that would support this goal. We have outlined some key ways to do so, but, most importantly; this government should STOP THE PRIVATIZATION OF CANADIAN AIRPORTS.