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The CATSA Cuts – They Save Money While We Save Lives!

May 26, 2011

Thursday May 26, 2011

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, ON – “They save money while we try to save lives with fewer people,” says a frustrated Tania Canniff, IAMAW District Lodge 140 General Chairperson. Canniff was reacting to the layoff of 120 of her members employed as security screeners at Vancouver International Airport.

Despite a sizeable increase in their operating budget, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has forced its service providers to lay off hundreds of airport screeners across Canada. The result is longer lineups at airports across the country along with the potential for security breaches, security service failures and worker fatigue.

“Screeners are being instructed to bend the rules and perform the work of multiple positions on the screening line at the same time,” explains Canniff. “This is contrary to CATSA’s own standard operating procedures. Our members have advised us that when they have challenged or questioned this direction in the interest of public safety, their supervisors tell them, do it or go home. The risk to public safety is directly proportional to the size of the screener cuts.”

Canniff, along with IAMAW Airline Coordinator Carlos DaCosta, will join the NDP MP Don Davies (Vancouver Kingsway) in a news conference on parliament hill, today at 10:30 am. Davies wants to know how CATSA can justify personnel cutbacks and compromise public safety when it has more operating funding than last year. Canniff and DaCosta will address the issues of service failures and potential security breaches due to employee fatigue resulting from the cutbacks.

The IAMAW represents more than 1250 airport screeners at 12 airports in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.


For more information contact:
Tania Canniff
General Chairperson
IAMAW District Lodge 140
Phone: 604-448-0721
Cell: 778-319-4140

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