TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - The employees who fuel Porter aircraft at the Toronto Island airport will be on strike at midnight tonight.
The workers are members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE).
Porter, after asking for a one day extension on the strikedeadline, has not moved on their position of an increase of 25 cents per hour for employees without a DZ licence (11 employees out of 22 in the bargaining unit). The others would get no increase. These employees are the lowest paid in the industry.The average annual income of the striking workers is $28,000.
The workers are concerned that the replacement workers being hired by Porter will not have the skills necessary to ensure the safety of the flying public.Training for new employees generally takes one month to obtain all the certification required to do the job. Training of replacement workers started after January 2.
COPE members working at Porter not only fuel aircraft but they "farm" fuel for the facility as well. This means they collect fuel from the provider and store and transport fuel in large tankards to aircraft as needed.
A mishap involving fuel could have dire consequences for workers as well as for Porter passengers.
Based on these reports, the Union is concerned for the safety of the flying public.
The Union will address these concerns with the Honourable Lisa Raitt, the federal Minister of Labour as well as the federal Minister of Transportation.
COPE asks the public to cancel their flights with Porter and boycott the airline until they come to the table and bargain a living wage for its workers.
SOURCE COPE Ontario