GTAA Ratifies First Consolidated Collective Agreement

July 24, 2009, 7:54 AM EST

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Approximately 900 CAW members at the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) have ratified a new collective agreement by a margin of 87 per cent.

After an extremely difficult set of negotiations, the GTAA bargaining committee negotiated a strong collective agreement that will be in effect until July 31, 2013 and includes progressive aspects for all members, including a twelve percent wage increase.

"It was the CAW's reputation a strong commitment to workers that initially brought this group into our union," said Leslie Dias, president of CAW Local 2002. "In spite of the numerous obstacles that workplace activists and leadership have faced over the past two years, we were determined to provide the best agreement and workplace representation possible."

The GTAA applied to the CIRB in March 2007, to consolidate three existing bargaining units into one.  A year later, the CAW, who represented one of the units at the GTAA, won the vote to represent workers throughout Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, including maintenance, skilled trades and professionals, baggage handling, operations and office and technical administration employees.

In October 2008, the bargaining committee then began the formidable job of consolidating three existing bargaining units and a newly included group of employees into one collective agreement. After numerous meetings with the employer, Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) and labour mediator Tom Hodges, a tentative agreement was reached and subsequently, ratified overwhelmingly by the membership.

"It was extremely challenging to consolidate three very different collective agreements and fashion a contract that would most benefit the entire membership. I think the bargaining committee should be commended for achieving that complex objective," said Dias.

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