Liberal government continues to ignore plight of thousands of vulnerable airport workers

NDP Deputy Leader Jagmeet Singh called on the Liberal government to address the plight of thousands of vulnerable workers in precarious jobs at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

“Airport workers screen passengers for safety, they handle our bags and they refuel our planes. Their work brings in billions of dollars in revenue into the GTA every year, yet employees struggle to make ends meet,” said Singh, MPP for Bramlea-Gore-Malton. 

Toronto Pearson International Airport is the largest transportation hub in Canada and one of the Canada’s largest workplaces with over 4,000 employees, who handle more than 41 million passengers.

While the federal government has responsibility for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, federal labour code only applies to direct employees of the authority – a relatively small group.

“While most believe that employees all work directly for the airport, they actually don’t. In fact, it’s a complicated system of contractors and subcontractors that run the airport. This means that for thousands of employees there is no job security, no sick days, no guarantees in scheduling and, what’s worse, a wage that’s very difficult to live on,” said Singh. 

Singh explained that the current system of contract flipping, where contracts for services are turned over to the lowest bidders every couple years, means workers are getting laid off only to be rehired again, often by the same company for lower wages and fewer benefits.  

Singh called for an end to contract flipping.  

Singh also called for the Liberal government to support a livable wage for the airport workers. 

“They deserve at least a $15 minimum wage,” said Singh. “Does the Premier support the call from Toronto airport workers for a $15 minimum wage?”