In Canada, a Coffee Chat Turns into 25 New IAM Members

The IAM in Canada has grown again, with new automotive workers in North Vancouver, BC and construction security guards at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

In North Vancouver, what began as a discussion over coffee at a Chrysler training school between union and non-union mechanics resulted in 25 new members for IAM Local 1857.

During a conversation with employees of Destination Chrysler, it was revealed they had several ongoing workplace issues including lack of shift change notification, no overtime, 10-hour shifts and flat-rate work with no guarantee of work. A call was then made to IAM District 250.

“Of particular concern was the new warranty tracking system which was short-changing their hours,” said IAM District 250 Business Representative Al Cyr. “I set up an initial offsite meeting with about 10 employees to discuss the organizing process. At a follow up meeting there happened to be two members from Carter Dodge who used to work at Destination Chrysler and they explained the benefits of the Carter Dodge contract and cards were signed that night.”

The employer attempted to disrupt the organizing by altering the number of employees who were qualified to vote but the result was a 17-8 tally in favor of the IAM. The new members include mechanics, parts workers, service writers, lot persons, detailers, and service and warranty coordinators.

At Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, District 140 welcomed new members who provide security at all vehicle access points to construction sites.

“We had suggested quietly to Garda Security to grant us voluntary recognition and add these members to the Garda Access Control collective bargaining unit,” said IAM Transportation District 140 Organizer Sam Jabbar. “With the help of District 140 General Chairperson Tal Rayat we met with the workers at construction sites within the airport about joining the IAM. Eventually the company agreed.”

The IAM is the largest union representing security workers at Pearson with more than 2,100 airport security screeners and 160 Access Control workers. The IAM is also the largest union at Pearson, representing more than 10,000 members.