ITF aviation unions: act now against Canada airport privatisation

The ITF is urging its civil aviation unions to act now in support of workers fighting the privatisation of airports in Canada.

The Toronto Airport Workers’ Council (TAWC) is increasingly concerned over the licensing practices of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), specifically its decision to license unregulated temp agencies with no airport experience.

The TAWC says the GTAA’s desire to place profit ahead of the safety and security of workers and passengers at Toronto’s Pearson Airport has resulted in a protracted strike since 12 July, with hundreds of unqualified strike breakers replacing Swissport Teamsters 419 workers. It claims that the GTAA’s licensing practices remove pressure from Swissport management to bargain with the Teamsters.

The GTAA has taken out injunctions against both the Teamsters and the TAWC.

The TAWC is demanding that the Canadian government and the GTAA:

• end airport privatisation plans;
• ban strike-breaking replacement workers; and
• revoke all GTAA temp agency licenses and subject the GTAA’s licensing practices to public scrutiny.

Erin van der Maas, head of the ITF airports organising priority project, said: “The ITF wholeheartedly backs the TAWC’s campaign, which exemplifies what our airports organising project is trying to achieve.

“We call on our civil aviation unions to send an urgent message via Labourstart to the Canadian government and GTAA in support of the TAWC’s demands.”

Send your letter of protest now via the LabourStart campaign page.

The TAWC advocates on behalf of more than 30,000 workers at Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) represented by CUPE, IAMAW, PSAC-CIU, SEIU, UNIFOR and Teamsters419.

The TAWC is working with the ITF airports organising project to support unions in building a solidarity network airport-wide, with an emphasis on sharing knowledge and mutual support. Read more. 

The TAWC campaign is also backed by ITF allies in the We Own It campaign run by the OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union) against Ontario's Hydro One privatisation disaster. 

Read more about ITF union support for the Swissport strikers. 

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