By David Bush
On April 8, members of Unifor Local 2002 and supporters gathered at the headquarters of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) to demonstrate against the outsourcing of jobs at Air Canada. The GTAA is demanding that Air Canada contract out services for passengers requiring wheelchair/special assistance. This means the loss of roughly a 150 unionized jobs at Air Canada and the conversion of those jobs from well-paid union jobs to low paid precarious work done by non-unionized workers. The move to contract out these jobs has lead to a halt in negotiations between the union and Air Canada.
Recently the GTAA awarded a contract to assist passengers with special needs to the Toronto Ground Airport Services. The 260 employees who were doing that job for the company which previously provided that service, Servisair, will have to reapply for their jobs with no special consideration being given. This contract flipping has the effect of pushing wages and working conditions down to the lowest bidder.
At the rally I spoke to Eve Graham, an Air Canada employee in customer sales and service for 25 years and a member of Unifor local 2002 and Cheryl Robinson, President of Unifor Local 2002. Listen to my interview here:[audio:http://rankandfile.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/RF-GTAA-airport.mp3|titles= An interview with Air Canada workers]