HAMILTON GROUND HANDLING OPERATIONS -District 140 Bulletin #30

TO ALL IAMAW MEMBERS
WORKING FOR AIR CANADA – TMOS

HAMILTON GROUND HANDLING OPERATIONS

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Dear Brothers,
Dear Sisters,

In February 2016, Air Canada began marketing flights from Hamilton, Ontario to many destinations in eastern Canada. Your Union requested clarification from the Company at the National Level, asserting that we perform this work. The Company initially stated that it was only going to be a short-term schedule and that it was too costly for IAMAW members to perform the work. It turned out Air Canada would be operating YUL-YHM-YUL from May 24 through November 02, 2016. There would be two turns of CRJ 50 passenger aircraft 6 days a week, and one turn on Sunday. A grievance was filed and the parties scheduled arbitration for May 17, 2016.

At the arbitration, the Company responded to our staffing claim by initiating Article 20.07.01 which allows for subcontracting in circumstances “where the nature or volume of the work is such that it does not justify the capital or operating expenses involved.” The Union asserted that we could in fact perform the work within the costs.

The Company also referred to Appendix XXV. This Appendix protects all the ground handling work currently performed by our members as of January 01, 2016, for the duration of the current Collective Agreement.

Your Union advised the arbitrator that no extra equipment needs to be purchased, it could simply be trucked to Hamilton as was done in in 1999, and 2005/2006, during the previous temporary flight operations in Hamilton. We also stated that the 1999 letter defining Hamilton as Toronto for purposes of ground handling, was never rescinded by the Union, therefore it should stand regardless of the new provisions of Appendix XXV.

The arbitrator has now released his decision. In it, he states, “I am of a view the grievance must be dismissed. Article XXV is clear. It enhanced the union’s bargaining rights, but it limited the expansion, and these rights, to locations where there are boots on the ground….It allows no other interpretation: where such ground handling is performed by bargaining unit members on January 01, 2016.”

In a nutshell, the job security of Appendix XXV protects all the current ground handling work from being subcontracted out to 3rd party providers but does not protect us because we were not working out of Hamilton on January 1, 2016. Unfortunately this means that our Air Canada members will not be handling the flights at Hamilton Airport.

In Solidarity,

Paul Lefebvre
General Chairperson – Central Region
Transportation District 140, IAMAW

BULLETIN NO. 030 – ISSUED MAY 24, 2016
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