United Food and Commercial Workers - Local 175

March 11, 2011 18:23 ET

U.S. Company Gutting Contract, Jeopardizing Livelihood of Workers

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 11, 2011) - Unionized workers at National Car Rental on Atwell Drive in Etobicoke began legal strike action at 6:01 p.m. today.

The 95 workers voted down the most recent 'offer' from the company at a vote held March 10, 2011. Workers will be picketing at the Garage and Terminals 1 and 3 at Pearson International Airport handing out information flyers to consumers looking to rent vehicles through National.

"The employer, whose parent company is Enterprise, tabled numerous concessions in this round of negotiations and threatened to contract out the workers' jobs if they didn't achieve $2 million in savings," explains Shawn Haggerty, president of the workers' union United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175. "It's one of the most successful car rental companies in the world and these kinds of demands are unwarranted. The workers are taking a stand with the full support of their Union."

"These concessions constitute nothing more than an attempt to gut this contract. These workers make a fair wage right now and if the company gets its way some workers would face losing up to $4.50 an hour, making them the lowest paid in the industry."

In addition to dramatic wage cuts, the company's insulting demands include reducing sick days and eliminating religious holidays. They want to decrease vacation pay and weaken seniority provisions by assigning overtime at the company's discretion. The employer is also looking to force employees to pay 100% of the premiums for their health and welfare benefits.

"This big powerful U.S. company wants to dismantle the rights of workers and threaten the well-being of their families," says Haggerty. "These concessions are outrageous and these hard-working people deserve better."

UFCW Local 175 also represents workers at Budgetcar, Hertz, Aviscar, and Dollar Thrifty in a number of locations across the Greater Toronto Area.

Locals 175 & 633 of the United Food & Commercial Workers Canada form the largest local union of the United Food & Commercial Workers. The Locals represent approximately 50,000 Ontario workers, in more than 900 workplaces, across about 20 sectors of the economy. The educational opportunities available to members include an extensive Internet Distance Education Program. Offices are located in Mississauga, Ottawa, Hamilton, Kitchener and Thunder Bay.

Contact Information

  • Kelly Tosato
    UFCW Local 175 Director, Central East Region
    905-821-8329 or 416-894-9174