VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 21, 2014) - United Airlines is pulling out of Canada and will outsource its Canadian operations effective May 1, 2014.
"This move is absolutely disgusting," declared an angry IAM District Lodge 140 President and Directing Chairperson Fred Hospes. "These people took concessions to keep this airline airborne and this is how they're repaid. We'll do whatever it takes to protect our members and their rights."
United said the move is a result of the Company's continuing efforts to ensure its competitiveness in the international airline industry.
"The IAM has been bargaining in good faith with United Airlines to reach a revised collective agreement for our members in Vancouver and Calgary for the past nine months and not once did the airline raise the issue of subcontracting the operation at the bargaining table," explained IAM District Lodge 140 General Chairperson Tania Canniff. "These workers are devastated and shocked at the level of contempt they experience from their own employer."
The announcement affects both ticket agents and ground handling personnel - 85 members of IAM Local Lodge 764 in Vancouver and 58 members of IAM Local Lodge 2734 in Calgary. Under the collective agreement, the company must provide the Union with at least ninety (90) days' notice of any decision to contract out any or all of the work of the Bargaining Unit or to discontinue operations. The agreement also states the Company must provide the Union with all relevant financial and costing documentation and meet with the Union to review viable alternatives which the Union may wish to propose to maintain the work within the Bargaining unit.
"This is a clear violation of our collective agreement and we're going to challenge the Company's decision to outsource our work," said Hospes. The IAM is the largest union in Canada's Air Transport Sector.