Victoria MP demands answers for fired airport workers


Two months after the screeners at Victoria International Airport were fired, their local Member of Parliament is still pushing for the government to support the workers and provide answers.

Victoria MP Laurel Collins brought up the issue of the fired screeners during Question Period in Ottawa, pushing for the government to do something to help the workers.

“Mr. Speaker, Donna, Sheila and Julie are three women who have given me permission to share their stories. They are among the 27 screening officers at the Victoria airport who recently lost their jobs,” she said in QP.

“CATSA, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, disqualified these workers, forcing their employer to fire them despite the employer wanting to keep them on.”

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It’s been two months since the terminations, and a number of the Victoria airport workers are struggling, Collins said.

“Donna is a single mom with two kids. She is extremely worried about how she is going to make rent next month,” Collins told CHEK News in an interview from her office in Ottawa.

Jennifer Louie loved her job at the airport as a screener. Her termination Feb. 6 came three days before her birthday.

“I’m scared of losing my car. Ruin my credit,” Louie told CHEK News.

Even after she was fired, she received a glowing letter of recommendation from her employer, but she is now back at her old minimum wage job, working two days a week. She says it’s not enough to pay her bills.

“I couldn’t make my car payment last week, so I started a 50-50 online for my family to support me, and my niece sent me my car payment. Then I’m still worried about my next car payment for next week, and my car insurance next week,” Louie said from her home in Duncan.

Allied Universal Security, is subcontracted by CATSA, to operate the airport’s screening department.

Neither Allied nor CATSA has responded to requests for interviews.

In a statement from the office of the Minister of Labour, it says that federal regulations were followed, and the process was followed for group termination.

Collins says she cannot get action from the government to help the workers.

“Ultimately these workers deserve fairness, and justice,” Collins said. “They deserve answers. And collective bargaining, those are constitutionally protected rights. They must be upheld.”

The 27 unionized employees are still waiting for an explanation of why they lost their jobs.


Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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