Strike threat brings Innotech back to table: IAM

Workers voted to walk off job on Christmas Day

The threat of a strike action Christmas Day by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), Local Lodge 2413 has encouraged management at Ottawa’s Innotech Aviation to return to the bargaining table, according to the union.

“Our members made it quite clear the employer’s final offer was an insult and they would strike to back their demands for better wages,” said Mike Corrado, IAM transportation district lodge 140 general chairperson. “The employer appears to have taken this threat seriously and we resume bargaining on Jan. 7.”

The Innotech workers consist of customer-service representatives (CSR) and line-service representatives (LSR) which service, fuel, tow, park and de-ice aircraft at the fixed base operator (FBO), said the union.

Wages are the biggest issue with the employer proposing a starting rate of $14 per hour for CSRs which is the current minimum wage in Ontario and that will remain at that level for the life of the agreement. The proposed starting rate for line service representatives, whose duties require owning a DZ license, is $0.61 per hour above the minimum wage, according to IAM.

The employer has difficulties hiring DZ licensed drivers at these near minimum wage salaries. The employer has proposed to pay for the DZ license training of their employees but will recoup the costs of this training if the employee doesn’t stay for at least a year and a half, said the union.

“Unless the employer is prepared to pay respectable wages, there is no way the union will agree to the clawing back of these costs. This simply allows the employer the ability to enslave workers who are making close to minimum wage. Workers wouldn’t be able to afford to quit as they would be required to pay back up to $3000 in training costs,” said Corrado.

Innotech operates the Shell Aero Centre at the Ottawa International Airport providing fueling and baggage handling services for Swift Air, Delta Charters, Miami Air, Transport Canada, Department of Defense, Air North, Ornge Air Ambulance, U.S. military, Netjets and Keewatin Air.



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