Edmonton – Airport security screeners at Edmonton International Airport voted in favour yesterday to ratify a new collective agreement. Workers negotiated a 12% raise over the next two and a half years, along with a $1,500 signing bonus of full-time workers and $750 for part-timers.

The security screeners are represented by Teamsters Local Union 362.

“Airport security screeners have been understaffed and have seen their working conditions stretched to the limit for some time now. Then inflation has threatened further cutbacks to their quality of life. Security screeners deserved a raise and a bonus, and I am pleased that their sacrifice and their important role at airports are finally being recognized. Congratulations to these workers, the negotiating committee, and the local union,” said the president of Teamsters Canada, François Laporte.

Talks to renew the collective agreement, which had expired March 31, had reached an impasse over the summer. Airport screeners had previously rejected two offers from the company. In July, they voted to authorize strike action should the local union deem it necessary.

Staffing shortages, the pandemic, and travel chaos have wreaked havoc with security screeners’ working conditions. A pressure-cooker environment has developed where workers regularly face verbal or even physical abuse from passengers faced with long lines, delayed flights and other travel headaches.

“Airport security screeners have an important and highly underappreciated role. Their job is to ensure that your and your family’s next flight is safe and secure. They deserve our respect and to be treated with dignity,” said Bernie Haggarty, secretary-treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local Union 362.