MONTREAL, Oct. 17, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - On Monday evening, the 600 workers who carry out pre-board screening at Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Airport rejected the latest offers that were filed on October 5 by their employer, Securitas.
These security screening officers and coordinators, members of United Steelworkers Local 1976, whose collective agreement expires on October 31, thus sent a strong signal to their employer. "This nearly unanimous vote is very clear," asserts Marc Hennessey, Chair of the Grievance Committee of Unit-Lodge 911 of Local 1976. "The members are mobilized behind their bargaining committee, and pressure tactics are now being considered."
"It is time that the management of Securitas took things seriously," declares Michel Courcy, United Steelworkers representative. "Let it be clearly understood: we hope to quickly arrive at a negotiated settlement. But if that proves impossible, we will spare no effort to obtain the agreement that our members want."
The subjects of dispute mainly involve working conditions, salary and seniority. In point of fact, the employer puts operating needs ahead of seniority during vacation periods and statutory holidays. In addition, many women find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to choosing their days off and vacation. Finally, the issue of work schedules and hours and staggered shifts, and a dispute on staff rooms are among the current points of contention with the employer.
The pressure tactics that the screening officers may be forced to adopt are obviously likely to disrupt operations at security checkpoints. "Far be it from our members, who have an important role to play in flight security, to wish for the situation we now find ourselves facing," says Marc Hennessey. "But they want a new work agreement, and are convinced that members of the public who pass through the security checkpoints of Québec's largest airport will understand that their working conditions are inadequate."
The United Steelworkers, affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), is the largest private-sector union in Québec. It represents over 60,000 workers in a number of sectors including mining, metallurgy, industrial manufacturing, security, hotels, restaurants, trucking, taxi, etc.
SOURCE: UNITED STEELWORKERS (USW)
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