Screener Cuts in Canada Put Passengers at Risk


IAM leaders in Canada are warning of serious potential consequences if the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency (CATSA) continues making cuts to funding for passenger screening.

“In the fall of 2011, CATSA cut screener hours by up to 22 percent despite an increase in air passenger traffic,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie. The funding cuts resulted in 500 employees losing their jobs and 300 more were moved from full-time to part-time hours. “These radical service reductions substantially reduced the accuracy of frontline screening, placing our national security at risk.”

CATSA plans to impose further radical reductions in frontline screening budgets and hours. When these cuts are made it will increase worker stress and have a negative impact on the careers of skilled and committed security workers. “How do you justify this action when the only cuts in the CATSA budget were to frontline workers? It does not make sense.”

The IAM is strongly opposed to further cuts among the 7,000 airport security screeners employed throughout Canada.

“We call on the federal government to ensure that CATSA bureaucracy is not allowed to erode the safety of our air transport system through further cuts to airport screening budgets and frontline security staff,” said Ritchie. “Further budget cuts for frontline security are simply unacceptable and unfair.”

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