TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 22, 2012) - "Our federal government is rolling the dice with the safety of the travelling public in this country by reducing the number of airport security screeners across Canada," said an angry Dave Ritchie, Canadian General Vice President of the IAM, the largest airport security screener union in the country.
"The lineups at airport security check-ins across the country are already too long because there aren't enough screeners and to cut that number by 15 per cent will be devastating and so will the consequences."
Airport security providers are being forced to cut the hours of their security screeners and that translates into massive layoffs. Garda Security will eliminate more than 200 full time screeners or 15 per cent of its work force at Toronto's Pearson Airport while G4S Secure Solutions Canada Limited is cutting 60 full time screeners in Vancouver.
"Our members can't even get a bathroom break because they're understaffed and the pressure to move people through quickly intensifies every day," explained Ritchie. "You think you have lineups now, it's only going to get worse and I'm afraid passenger safety is going to fall through the cracks in the name of the almighty dollar. Ottawa is playing with people's lives. Our members are already under tremendous pressure due to insufficient numbers and now their employers reward them with no job or at best part time hours."
"Canada cannot afford another 'XL Foods' situation to occur in the airline industry, the Harper government must reverse these cuts," said Ritchie.