Since January 10, 2013, aircraft fuelers at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto have been on strike over health and safety conditions and wages. The fuelers unionized with the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) Local 343 in August after years of continual understaffing, high turnover and serious injuries sustained on the job. Porter hired a team of scab workers when the strike began, enabling operations to continue as usual.
On April 15, Porter is even adding another daily flight to Windsor, Ontario.
The final – and only – contractual offer Porter presented to its unionized workers was a shameful $0.25/hour raise for those without a DZ license (for small truck-driving), no raise for those with a DZ license, and the provision of fuel-resistant gloves and coveralls. Since the strike began, Porter has begun to provide its scabs with this protective gear, as if to suggest that the safety issues faced by its workforce have been resolved. The workers are some of the lowest paid in the industry, at a starting wage of $12.00/hour. Toronto is one of Canada’s most expensive cities, where a full-time living wage exceeds $16.60/hour. Porter has declined all offers from its workers to negotiate since the strike began.
Despite numerous public demonstrations, community involvement, pickets and support from other unions across the country, Porter has attempted to sidestep the strike. But we can’t allow Porter to ignore its striking workers or their demands any longer.
Here’s What You Can Do on April 15!
Solidarity demonstration at Billy Bishop Airport – Come show your support for the workers’ demands on Monday, April 15 at 6:00pm. Meet in Little Norway Park next to the airport!
Hold a solidarity picket at other Porter worksites – is your city a Porter destination? Spread the word that Porter won’t negotiate with its workers in Toronto. Below is a list of cities to which Porter flies, and text for a sample flyer.
Flood Porter’s phone lines to tell them what you think – Jam the reservation lines at 1:00PM (Eastern Time), and keep calling them all day! The lines open at 5:30AM and close at 11:00PM (Eastern Time).
Send a letter of solidarity – the Porter aircraft fuelers in Toronto would love to hear from you. Tell them what actions you’re taking to put pressure on Porter!
COPE Local 343
555 Richmond Street West
Suite 701, PO Box 1202
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3B1
Attention: Porter Strike
For the phone zap, call Porter’s toll-free reservations line: 1-888-619-8622. If you can’t reach them on their bookings line, call their customer service line: 1-416-203-2424On the customer service line, ask to speak to the Vice-President, Airport Operations and Customer Service at Porter FBO, Paul Moreira.
Sample Script:Hi, I am calling from __________ to urge Porter Airlines to negotiate with its striking fuel workers in Toronto, Canada. I am unwilling to fly an airline that treats its employees so poorly and will not be booking a flight with Porter until the labour dispute is resolved.
[If possible, ask to speak to a supervisor, and repeat the above message]
BOSTON, MA – Logan International Airport (BOS)
BURLINGTON, VT – Burlington International Airport (BTV)
CHICAGO, IL – Midway International Airport (MDW)
HALIFAX, NS – Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
MONCTON, NB – Greater Moncton International Airport (YQM)
MONT TREMBLANT, QC – Mont Tremblant International Airport (YTM)
MONTREAL, QC – Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR)
NEWARK, NJ – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
OTTAWA, ON – MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
QUEBEC CITY, QC – Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – Sault Ste. Marie Airport (YAM)
ST. JOHN’S, NL – St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
SUDBURY, ON – Sudbury Airport (YSB)
THUNDER BAY, ON – Thunder Bay International Airport (YQT)
TIMMINS, ON – Victor M. Power Airport (YTS)
TORONTO, ON – Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ)
WASHINGTON, DC – DULLES – Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
WINDSOR, ON – Windsor International Airport (YQG)
Here’s text for a sample flyer to distribute in your city
Want to know more? Check out @PorterStrike or http://www.dontflyporter.com/