CATSA Must Address Airport Security Screening Issues: Steelworkers

MONCTON, NB, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is calling on the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency (CATSA) to resolve organizational and service problems affecting security screeners at Atlantic Canada airports.

"In addition to rampant speculation over job and service cuts, our members are experiencing payroll problems and attacks on their working conditions," said Wayne Fraser, USW Director for Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

The USW represents screeners at 13 airports in Atlantic Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nfld and Labrador and PEI.

"Our members in Atlantic Canada have been subjected to considerable upheaval and uncertainty due to the reorganization of airport security contracts imposed by CATSA in November," Fraser said.

"We are calling for an immediate meeting with CATSA's new chief executive officer, Angus Watt, to resolve these issues affecting airport security screeners and the important services they provide the public."

The reorganization imposed by CATSA resulted in security screeners at Atlantic Canada airports finding themselves suddenly employed by a new contractor - Securitas Transport Aviation Security Ltd.

"We have seen a disturbing disregard for our collective bargaining agreement since this reorganization occurred," said USW Local 5319 President Mark Arsenault.

"We have had many instances in which the company has not paid our members appropriately, or not paid them on time. We have many problems with pension contributions and vacation pay as well," Arsenault said.

"Our members wake up on pay day hoping they will get paid and then hope it will be the correct amount. Some of our members have missed car payments and other commitments due to lack of pay."

John Rex, USW Local 9342 President, added: "Many of the new employers have yet to hire all their previous screeners back.

"Many security screeners have seen their work schedules cut back drastically, to the point where they can no longer make a living.

"There is a lot of discontent in the industry," Rex said. "We have seen more people leave since the November takeover than in the previous three years in Atlantic Canada."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Wayne Fraser, USW District Director, 416-577-4045
Mark Arsenault, USW Local 5319 President, 902-293-5116
John Rex, USW Local 9342 President, 709-689-2499
Denis St Pierre, USW Communications, 416-544-5990, dstpierre@usw.ca


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