Global Picketline in progress
The aviation industry is not alone when it comes to outsourcing and driving down wages and conditions to maximise profit. But the airlines industry is a vital component of the world economy. Slowing down the air transport system can quickly affect profits. Workers in the aviation industry therefore have enormous industrial power at their fingertips. If airline industry workers unite internationally and use solidarity actions to place direct demands on the companies, they will be very difficult to defeat.
Global Picketline objectives:
To support the workers in dispute at YYZ Toronto Airport
To support PALEA
Background information – YYZ Toronto Airport:
Since July 2017, more than 700 Swissport aviation workers at the international airport hub of Toronto, Canada have been on strike. Swissport is the biggest independent global ground services provider with the largest number of hubs and Low Cost Carrier base operations globally. The strike is about wages and conditions and is part of a long running campaign by workers to achieve a minimum wage that will be a living wage for workers and their families. Given the size and reach of Swissport, this fight by Canadian workers for better conditions has ramifications for aviation workers globally. Many workers around the world have taken action in solidarity with Toronto workers. Co-ordinated industrial action against Swissport around the world would be the most effective strategy to maximise workers’ strength.
Background information – PALEA:
In September 2011 Philippine Airlines (PAL) locked out 2,600 workers and then sacked them. PAL was seeking to contract out and casualise most of its workforce. The union representing these workers, PALEA, decided to fight back.
Between 2011 and 2014 AAWL developed an international campaign in the airline industry. As well as the struggle at PAL the campaign involved solidarity actions with Qantas workers and Hava Is workers in dispute at Turkish Airlines.
Twenty locations reported actions or solidarity statements to us: Brussels, Cebu, Davao, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Honolulu, Istanbul, Jakarta, Lahore, London, Manila, Melbourne, Montreal, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg
After 26 months on the picket line, and nearly a year of negotiations a settlement was reached. The union survived but the outcome was only a partial victory for the workers.