A message from the Toronto Airport Workers Council: Call for Solidarity

A message from the Toronto Airport Workers Council: Call for Solidarity

September 1, 2017 at 8:30 AM




The time for fence sitting is over.

We are in the midst of a strike unlike any other at YYZ (Toronto).

In a massive attempt to undermine our Swissport co-workers’ bargaining power, the GTAA granted scab labour temp agencies — with no airport experience — licenses to operate before negotiations had even finished.

So, while workers were trying to bargain a new agreement in good faith, Swissport and the GTAA were quietly preparing a scab army to replace them the first chance they got.

With its GTAA-licensed scabs, Swissport has no need to bargain with its workers. Swissport is demanding workers accept their concession-filled “final offer,” even though Swissport is part of a Chinese conglomerate with over $100 billion in assets, including Hainan Airlines.

This extremely profitable company is still attempting to impose a three-year wage freeze on the majority of its workers, cut benefits and gain the right to change schedules on short notice.

This appears to be driven by some who only care about the “operation,” but WE are the operation; and we are fed up with having hundreds of untrained scabs on our ramp endangering us all.

Then there are the hoped-for extra payoffs many stand to make if they can privatize our airport with us serving as a completely disposable workforce.

In the past two months, at least four new temp agencies began operating on the ramp at YYZ — something never seen before!

We are also seeing repeated signs that these scab agencies are here to stay by doing what they can to try to scoop other work and flog their scab services for upcoming negotiations with other groups.


"Swissport's new offer was almost identical to what our members rejected in thefirst place. The fact that the company is still refusing to address the issues thatled to a strike is a slap in the face for our members and travellers at Pearson."

- Harjinder Badial, Teamsters 419 Vice-President and TAWC Representative


We – the workers – did not start this fight.

None of us want this, but this is a fight we can no longer ignore.


If they succeed in defeating our Swissport co-workers, who are already some of our lowest paid, they will move on to the next target.

Make no mistake – whether we work in the skies or on the ground – we are all a target.

Any resolve must include the GTAA permanently revoking ALL of these scab licenses.

This corporate greed must stop. Solidarity is a vital step towards creating a more civilized work place.

Here's how you can show your solidarity:

  • Let your union know that you want to join our solidarity campaign

  • Wear your union lanyards and pins

  • Stand outside your car while waiting in line to show your support

  • Talk with our co-workers about why we need to support this strike

  • Encourage co-workers to show their solidarity and to participate in upcoming actions

  • Get community support

  • Bring other people to our actions.



Toronto Airport Workers Council represents more than 30,000 workers at YYZ (Toronto)






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