Toronto, On – The annual May Day celebrations at Toronto’s Pearson Airport had international overtones this year.
Canadian airport workers were joined by their brothers and sisters from Korea, England, Malaysia and Indonesia and they braved the cold weather in solidarity on the departures level of Terminal One. A variety of speakers voiced concerns on issues that impact airport workers around the globe, namely contract flipping, poor labour conditions as well as health and safety. The International airports workers were delegates at a three-day airport workers conference here sponsored by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).
Members of IAM Local Lodge 2921 and IAM Transportation District Lodge 140 were amassing signatures from airport workers and the travelling public for a petition to present to Parliament seeking changes to the Canadian Air Transportation Security Act. Under the legislation it gives the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) the ultimate and unchallenged authority to issue disciplinary directives without providing a fair appeal process and access to union representation. This impacts on more than 4,000 airport security screening officers represented by the IAM in Toronto and British Columbia “It is an outrageous violation of the principles of natural Justice, when CATSA can hold our members off the job with no recourse to an effective Appeal process,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “In the current situation, justice delayed is justice denied.”
The IAM cannot allow Screening Officers to be treated unfairly. Tools that exist for other workers to defend their position when wrongfully accused, are non-existent for Screening Officers. “We demand a fair process, where a member has the ability to appeal to CATSA, and to bring a Union Representative to assist them in that Appeal,” said Pickthall.
The rally concluded with a march down departures access way at Terminal One.