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Public rally to be held May 23 to support Abbotsford airport screeners

May 18, 2023
Graphic of Airport Screeners

Still without a contract after two years of bargaining, security screening officers at the Abbotsford International Airport will hold a rally outside the airport on May 23 to protest their employer’s failure to resolve concerns over substandard working conditions.

The security screeners are employed by Allied Universal, a contractor for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which refuses to acknowledge that screeners are struggling to survive on their wages and are dealing with subpar working conditions including safety issues, passenger harassment and unstable shift scheduling.

The security screeners are members of United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 2009.

WHO: Abbotsford International Airport security screeners, USW Western Canada Director Scott Lunny, USW Local 2009 President Al Bieksa, federal MP Peter Julian, and other supporters.

WHAT: Public rally to support Abbotsford airport screeners

WHEN: Tuesday, May 23, 11 a.m.

WHERE: Outside the Abbotsford International Airport terminal, 30440 Liberator Ave., Abbotsford, B.C.

“Air travel safety depends heavily on airport security screeners who are responsible for detecting explosives, weapons or dangerous substances, and it is completely unacceptable that screeners at the Abbotsford International Airport are the last in Canada to not have a contract,” said Al Bieksa, President of USW Local 2009.

“These workers are intensely trained and extremely diligent in their responsibilities as they assume the risks to ensure passengers arrive safely at their destinations. However, their working conditions and wages are not commensurate with the high degree of their responsibilities and the abuse they face daily from passengers stemming from situations simply beyond their control,” said Bieksa.

“It is deplorable to see the majority of screening officers taking on second jobs just to make ends meet. Allied Universal and CATSA need to do better,” he said.

Members of the public are invited to join the security screening officers and their supporters at the Abbotsford International Airport, 30440 Liberator Ave, on Tuesday, May 23 at 11 a.m.

“We need to send a strong message to the Federal Minister of Transportation, the Hon. Omar Alghabra, who oversees CATSA. Allied Universal needs to be directed to come back to the bargaining table and be prepared to discuss better working conditions and fair and equitable wages,” said Bieksa.

The USW members have voted 100% in favour of strike action if needed. Allied Universal can prevent a strike and avoid longer line-ups and flight interruptions for air passengers, simply by getting back to the table to negotiate a fair contract.

The USW represents 225,000 members in nearly every economic sector across Canada and is the largest private-sector union in North America, with 850,000 members in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Each year, thousands of workers choose to join the USW because of our strong track record in creating healthier, safer and more respectful workplaces and negotiating better working conditions and fairer compensation – including good wages, benefits and pensions.

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Media Contact

Al Bieksa
USW Local 2009 President

Brett Barden
USW Communications

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