A message from the President of IAM Transportation District 140-Fred Hospes
Toronto, ON – The IAM has filed for common employer status with the Canada Industrial Labour Relations Board in an effort to preserve jobs in the airline fueling industry.
Certain Airline Consortium into-plane and tank farm Operators Agreements in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and other east coast airports will expire commencing March 2015. The fueling employers and other competitors have indicated that the Operator Agreements will be sent out for RFP later this year. There is a possibility that the Airline Consortium will attempt to bring in two or three other fueling providers which would throw our membership into turmoil. Rather than react after this has occurred, the IAM chose to be proactive in its efforts to preserve the jobs of our members and has taken the action to file for common employer status this week.
The IAM filed another Common Employer Application a decade ago which was addressed by having the parties (Fuel Consortiums, Air Canada, Consolidated Aviation and others) sign a lengthy Stability Agreement that expired in November of 2013. This “Stability Agreement” prevented the airlines from gutting our members’ wages by tendering out the work to a new service provider at entry level starting rates. If, during the “Stability Period”, a new provider was awarded a fueling contract, the Stability Agreement would apply to the new provider, much like successor rights.
Unfortunately, successor rights generally do not apply to most of the Service Groups when companies issue RFP’s or tender out contracts. Without the protection of a “Stability Agreement”, our fueling members in Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and other East Coast Airports become susceptible to the evils of the RFP/tendering process. Due to the fact that the Stability Agreement has expired, certain Operators Agreements begin expiring as of March of 2015, and the threat that the Airline Consortium may attempt to tender out fueling work currently performed by our members, District Lodge 140 has retained legal counsel to represent us with this matter. District Lodge 140 will update its members as this process progresses.