Unifor protests imminent airport layoffs

TORONTO, March 25, 2015 /CNW/ - With more than 280 jobs on the line, Unifor held a protest at the offices of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority today. The union is calling on the GTAA to require offers of employment to the low-wage workers that will be out of a job due to a change in the contract for those who service seniors and passengers with special needs at the airport.

"These loyal workers will be thrown out of a job next month. That's unfair to them and unfair to the seniors and special needs passengers who rely on experienced service," said Jerry Dias, Unifor's National President.

Unifor is accusing the GTAA of "contract flipping"—the legal but unethical practice of switching service providers every few years to minimize costs. Every time a new contract begins, employees must re-apply for their job and face uncertainty or unemployment.

This month the GTAA opened a tendering process for the contract to assist seniors passengers with special needs. The contract was awarded to Toronto Ground Airport Services (TGAS), which has made no employment commitment to the 280 employees working for the contract's previous provider, Servisair. The successorship rights that normally apply to the sale of a business do not apply in the federal sector with third party contracts.

"The GTAA is ultimately responsible for these mass layoffs. It must take responsibility for the turmoil caused in the lives of these workers," said Dias.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.


For further information: Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) or Ian.Boyko@Unifor.org

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