Halifax, March 19, 2015 – Eurest’s 26 workers responsible for maintenance at Robert Stanfield Airport (YHZ) are resorting to pressure tactics 11 months after their collective agreement expired. The points at issue are both various and troubling: no benefits, low pay, unfair treatment by the employer, and others.
“These workers clean toilets and don’t even have group insurance. So if they get sick, they can’t get reimbursed for any prescription drugs they may have to take,” said Local Union 927 president Rob Beairsto. “Cleaning toilets is dangerous work when you consider that our members are exposed to germs on a daily basis.”
Unlike other airport workers, maintenance workers are paid so little that they sometimes have to rely on food banks to make ends meet.
“I’m speechless. This situation is simply appalling. How can we build a just and prosperous society when workers who keep a major airport clean aren’t paid enough to feed themselves or put a roof over their heads?”
Eurest’s workers have voted in favour of a strike, but they have the choice of using pressure tactics first to make their employer aware of their tough situation. As such, members of other unions have expressed solidarity with their brothers and sisters at Robert Stanfield Airport.
“I’d like to thank the members of Unifor, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Canadian Labour Congress for their support,” continued the president of Local Union 927.
The maintenance contract for Robert Stanfield Airport was originally awarded to Hurley, which was acquired by Compass Group and then purchased by Eurest.
“In the interest of fairness and public health, the airport’s management shouldn’t let this situation drag. It’s also a question of common sense,” concludes Mr. Beairsto. “More rallies are planned and we hope the Halifax International Airport Authority will listen to us.”
The Teamsters represents 115,000 members in Canada in all trades. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Communications Department
Telephone: 450 682-5521