Airport security union asks Raitt to intervene

Airport security union asks Raitt to intervene

Passengers wait in a long lineup caused by work-to-rule action by security screeners at Pearson International Airport's Terminal 1 on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. (CP24/Mathew Reid) Passengers wait in a long lineup caused by work-to-rule action by security screeners at Pearson International Airport’s Terminal 1 on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011. (CP24/Mathew Reid)

The union representing security screeners at Toronto’s airports is asking Canada’s labour minister to stop a round of layoffs that it claims would result in chaos for travellers.

In a news release, the Canadian Airport Workers Union said Garda Security Solutions is cutting security staffing levels at Pearson and Billy Bishop airports by 20 per cent.

The union previously said Garda is laying off or cutting the hours of almost 300 security employees.
Those kinds of cuts would result in major delays and weakened security standards, the union said.
To prevent the layoffs, CAWU is asking Labour Minister Lisa Raitt to intervene.

The union claims Garda committed a series of labour law violations, and the cuts are already starting to cause backlogs at security.
“Garda violated a number of key sections of the Canada Labour Code in its bungled attempts to ram through the cuts and boost profits at the expense of passengers and frontline officers,” the union said in a news release.
Garda failed to fulfill its obligation to notify the labour minister of the mass layoffs, failed to follow the steps required for group layoffs, and failed to provide the minimum 16-week notice that is required by law, the union claims.

The cuts were announced Jan. 10 with just 15 days of notice, union officials said.
CAWU said it is seeking “a fair and reasonable solution that will ensure safe and hassle-free travel for passengers.”
The union said the cuts would be counterintuitive because the current staffing complement is barely adequate and air traffic increased by 5.5 per cent at Pearson International Airport in the first nine months of 2011.
@ChrisKitching is on Twitter.


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