July 4, 2019 at 1:05 PM
In 2012, Unifor filed the Handlex Blue Pass grievance on behalf of the former Handlex members, which then went to arbitration in 2013. The original grievance and subsequent arbitration were shared amongst three union groups Unifor and Teamsters Locals 1999 and 931 from Montreal.
Over the past six years, the union was tasked with gathering information and preparing arguments for this grievance, this eventually led to an arbitration award that was handed down by arbitrator Claude Martin
in July 2018. During the countless days of arbitration hearings, the employer was tasked with collecting information on the value of the passes. Swissport hired the Quebec firm Deloitte to perform this task on their behalf. The information that they gathered and the number of employees noted in their findings included a fourth group of employees from Toronto - Teamsters Local 419, that were also impacted by the loss of the travel benefits provided by Air Transat.
When arbitrator Claude Martin
delivered his award, it did not include the Teamsters Local 419 from Toronto. When the question of dividing the award amongst the three Locals was discussed with the employer the unions were advised that the award was now going to be divided amongst the four union groups, as this was their intent from the onset. Throughout this time, Swissport has not yet provided any of the unions with their portion of the award. The monies have been held in a trust account since October 2018 by the employer.
All of the lawyers have agreed to schedule a conference call in the coming weeks to discuss how best to manage this new information. Rest assured Unifor is committed to delivering to its members what they are duly owed. We will continue to keep you informed on the decisions that follow.
Assistant to President – Unifor Local 2002
Assistant to the President – Unifor Local 2002