Victoria MP calls for answers about mass firings at Victoria Airport in Ottawa

Laurel Collins/Twitter
Victoria MP Laurel Collins speaks on Feb. 28, 2024.

Victoria MP Laurel Collins is demanding answers from the federal transportation minister after 35 airport security screening workers at Victoria International Airport (YYJ) were fired earlier this month.

On Feb. 6, 26 security screeners and nine managers in the screening department were fired.

All of the workers were employed by Allied Universal Security, which is subcontracted by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).

On Feb. 13, in a statement to CHEK News, CATSA said it had found that there were several instances of incomplete screening at a non-passenger checkpoint in the airport by Allied workers.

At the time, a fired worker said they were aware of minor infractions – like failing to inspect a coffee cup and moving a security wand too quickly over someone’s body – but nothing that would amount to firings.

CATSA told CHEK News that it did inform Allied that it would not be able to bill for some of the screening conducted, but it says it did not ask the company to fire any workers.

SEE ALSO: Victoria airport workers fired earlier this month still in the dark

Since the mass firings, the union representing most of the fired workers – the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District Lodge 140 – has tried to meet with the federal transportation ministry about the issue, but so far with no luck.

On Wednesday, Victoria’s Member of Parliament took the matter to the House of Commons.

“Thirty per cent of the screening officers at Victoria’s airport have lost their jobs without due process and with no access to an appeal,” said Collins in Ottawa.

“Their employer wanted to keep them on but the Canadian airport transportation security authority interfered, undermining labour relations and costing people their jobs,” she said.

“To make matters worse the minister of transportation refuses to meet with them. Yet again, the Liberals are dropping the ball when it comes to protecting workers,” said Collins. “Why is the minister refusing to meet with these workers and their union?”

Federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan replied to the Victoria MP’s comments on Wednesday, saying he would look into the matter “immediately.”

“I thank the honourable member for her question and I can say, certainly today of all days, that we certainly stand with workers and we stand with a stable and fair working environment,” he said.

Adam Chan

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