Toronto, ON – The highlight of the IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 convention here was the announcement that the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) told Garda Security Screening, it’s Screening Point Managers (SPM’S) at Toronto airports have the right to join the IAM.
That decision stems from unfair labour practices charges filed with the board last month against Garda by IAM Transportation District Lodge 140. In an interim order, not only did the board tell Garda it’s SPM’s had the right the join the IAM, it also told Garda to reinstate IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 General Chairperson Barry Barnett, whom it had terminated for organizing activities. Garda was also told to reinstate Elie Germeil, Michael John and Christopher Hasan who were terminated for assisting in the organizing activities. Delegates to the conference were horrified to hear that Garda had terminated Barnett but it also posted notices in the workplace instructing employees not to deal with Barnett in his capacity as an elected representative of the IAM.
“In all of my years as a trade unionist, I have never seen such a flagrant attack on a union representative,” said IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 President and Directing General Chairperson Fred Hospes. “Terminating employees for participating in a union campaign is a direct violation of the Canada Labour Code,” Hospes told delegates. “This will simply not be tolerated by our organization.”
“Garda challenged Brother Barnett and this Union,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “They fired him for doing the job we assigned him to do. They do not get to tell him what he can and can’t do, that’s our job and the board agreed with us.” Hospes called the board decision a great victory for our Union and the members of IAM Local Lodge 2921. The IAM represents 2,300 airport security screeners at Toronto’s Pearson and Billy Bishop Airports.
The two day convention in Toronto wrapped up Wednesday evening.