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Chères consœurs et chers confrères,

Nous traversons une période d’incertitude. La crise sanitaire de la COVID-19 et l’état d’urgence ayant été déclaré signifient que nous opérons dans des circonstances qui changent rapidement et qui sont difficiles à prévoir. Le fait qu’il soit difficile d’obtenir des directives claires de la part des employeurs rend une situation déjà difficile encore plus difficile.

Sans surprise, des membres de l’AIMTA recherchent d’urgence des réponses et des assurances dans cescirconstances difficiles. Étant donné le manque d’information, soyez assurés que vos dirigeants syndicaux, à tous les niveaux de l’AIMTA, travaillent inlassablement en collaboration les uns avec les autres pour tenter d’obtenir des informations factuelles. En plus de défendre les intérêts de nos membres, nous sommes en pourparlers avec des employeurs à la recherche d’information pour les aider à donner des orientations et à prévoir les résultats dont nos membres ont besoin en ce moment.

Nous nous sommes dotés d’une stratégie globale de communication interne pour garantir que l’information estrégulièrement partagée et que les questions hautement prioritaires sont traitées. Le 14 mars, tous les représentants du district 140 et les dirigeants des sections locales affiliées ont participé à une vidéoconférence de mise à jour sur la COVID-19 de l’AIMTA et ont fourni de l’information détaillée à propos des faits que nous connaissons alors. Comme vous le savez peut-être, l’AIMTA a publié plusieurs communications et le syndicat participe également à des discussions avec le gouvernement sur les équipements de protection individuelle (EPI) pour ses membres entre autres questions.

De plus, des vidéoconférences se tiennent quotidiennement depuis le 16 mars par l’entremise du bureau canadien de l’AIMTA. Tous les présidents généraux du district 140 participent à ces vidéoconférences, partageant des informations afin de mieux comprendre la situation de la COVID-19 au fur et à mesure qu’elle évolue.

Dans des moments difficiles comme ceux que nous vivons actuellement, nous devons tous être solidaires, nous soutenir les uns les autres et savoir que nous sommes plus forts quand nous sommes unis.

En toute solidarité, Fred Hospes

Fred Hospes, président-directeur général District des Transports 140, AIMTA


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Bulletin No. 009_FR

Airports: The Forgotten Epicentre

Airports: The Forgotten Epicentre

When you think of frontline workers dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, you likely think of those in healthcare. Airport workers, and screening officers in particular are not likely to come to mind. But, these workers work in a high risk area that’s been the epicentre of the transmission; airports and the traveling public. These workers cannot follow public health guidelines, can’t work from home and have no access to PPE that other frontline staff get. Perhaps, worst of all, is the lack of a process to flag potentially contagious travellers. To make matters even worse, every legislated health and safety right seems to have been waived, and that simply is not acceptable. 

Over the last 24 hours, it has been reported that a worker at Toronto Pearson has tested positive for the Covid-19 Virus. The IAMAW has put pressure on the employer to address numerous health and safety concerns, the main one of being lack of personal protective equipment for screening officers. The response has been lacklustre, and instead of proactive measures public health officials urge employers and the public to take, the employer has referred the union to a regulating body, CATSA. The regulating body on the other hand is completely silent, while people are working and putting themselves and their health on the line. 

“The government needs to step up and protect our members performing screening operations at airports” remarked Stan Pickthall, IAMAW General Vice President Canada. We have passengers going through pre-board screening checkpoints and their service provider, guided by a government agency, is refusing to provide our pre-board screener with masks. This is a gross infringement of basic health and safety laws; allowing this to go on is the height of irresponsibility to these workers and the greater public.

GVP Pickthall added that, “it is not up for debate, airport workers need to be given the same personal protective equipment as health care workers as they work in close proximity to the travelling public and their belongings.”  CATSA needs to follow precautionary measures and give directive to the employer to issue protective equipment immediately and start communicating with the union and our members. 

The IAMAW is calling for the government (CATSA) to immediately provide the proper personal protective equipment for our members. GVP Pickthall went on to say in closing that, “this would not be acceptable in any other high-risk workplace, why is it acceptable in this instance?”

The Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority is a government agency that oversees security screening contractors at Canadian Airports.

The IAMAW is the largest union in air transportation in Canada.


For more information:
Keith Aiken, IAM Canada Airline Coordinator


Dear Mr. Garneau,

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) is the bargaining agent for nearly 90% of screening officers across Canada, who work in major Canadian airports, such as Vancouver and Toronto Pearson Airport. Both airports are major hubs that connect Canada to the world. Screeners in Toronto Pearson Airport process 130,000 passengers on a daily basis without incidents or disruptions, and work very closely with the travelling public. Not only is the work of screening officers significant for the safety and security of domestic and international passengers, they are at the core of making airports function.

I am writing you today asking your help with a troubling issue with regards to our screening officers. CATSA, the regulating body for Airport screening, is not allowing the service providers to supply the proper personal protective equipment to our screening officers at all airports across Canada. CATSA has been referring to standards issued by Health Canada for the general public. The IAMAW believes that screening officers should be treated as front line employees and supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment.

While the law is clear about the legal responsibility of employers to provide personal protective equipment, service providers are refuting that they are responsible for issuing personal protective equipment.

Conversations with service providers have not yielded any results, with employers stating that provision of protective equipment is CATSA’s responsibility. The IAMAW is very concerned about the situation that has arisen, which is jeopardizing our member’s wellbeing.

This is a pressing issue with little time to act given the recent announcement of CBSA agents testing positive for COVID-19. We are asking, as a starting point, that the screening service providers be immediately mandated to provide the NIOSH N95 masks to front line screening officers. The N-95 mask is designed to protect against 95% of airborne particulates when tested against a 0.3 micron particle, and should be used at a minimum.

This issue is of national importance and must be dealt with in an expeditious manner given aggressive public health measures being undertaken to stem the spread of COVID-19. It is not just an obligation, CATSA also has a social responsibility to stem the spread of the virus.

I am therefore requesting a meeting, as soon as possible, to discuss the refusal of CATSA to protect the airport screeners of this country.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and assistance in this regard.
Yours Truly,

Stan Pickthall
General Vice President Canada
18 Wynford Drive, Suite 310, Toronto, Ontario M3C 3S2
Telephone: 416.386.1789 Fax: 416.386.0210


Dear Sisters and Brothers:

During this time of concern, the Employee and Family Assistance Program would like to address some of these concerns.

First and foremost, when you are researching signs and symptoms, incubation times, and self isolation procedures, please visit reputable websites for the information.

Some of these sites include:

For mental health and general counseling concerns, we are still taking calls and providing referrals to professionals. However, we are not aware if any Therapist has closed their office. If our members encounter this situation, we will try to provide another Therapist that may be taking new patients.

Health Canada is asking us to remain home if possible, and to limit unnecessary travel. If you leave the country, Health Canada is asking that you self-isolate for 14 days. Also, if you are currently out of the country, they have asked you to return home as soon as possible.

Please practice “Social Distancing” by keeping two metres between yourselves and others when out in public. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The EFAP members are always available to take your call; however, we may not have all the answers you may be looking for. For answers to questions about COVID-19, please visit the sites above.

In solidarity,

Derrick Bashford
Employee Assistance Program
National EFAP Coordinator
Central Region

IAMAW Position Statement on COVID-19 for District Lodge140 Members

In the midst of a global pandemic, District Lodge 140 is ensuring members are receiving all necessary information required to protect themselves at work, and as an organization we are asking all of our representatives to begin discussions with employers about safety precautions they are undertaking.

The wellbeing of our members is of utmost importance, as such, we are issuing a set of guidelines members and IAMW representatives should familiarize themselves with. Given that COVID-19 has several modes of transmission, and researchers are still learning about it, we are advocating for the highest precautionary protective measures in the workplace.

Employers should have in place training, which includes training on use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including dissemination of information on risks of contracting the virus in each workplace. PPE comes in the form of gloves, facial shields, masks, including the NIOSH N-95 respirator masks for those working in high risk areas. With respect to facial protection, employers should train workers on the use of facial protection, up to and including the N-95 mask. The N-95 mask is designed to protect against 95% of airborne particulates when tested against a 0.3 micron particle, and should be used at a minimum.

While the Public Health Agency of Canada does not recommend the use of surgical masks for healthy individuals, the IAMAW recommends the use of PPE that protects against transmission of COVID-19, especially for workers in high risk areas, such as those working as screening officers and cabin service as they are coming in direct contact with bodily fluids and/or potentially infectious individuals.

We also advocate for the “precautionary principle” as a guiding basis for employer policies, usage of PPE, including at the level of work engineering, administration and the worker level. Health and safety committees must be part of the process of developing policies, training plans, and in dissemination of the information.

Given that the virus is in the early stages of spreading, and all information about the virus is not yet fully known, the IAM believes employers should air on the side of caution and apply the precautionary principle in all matters pertaining to health and safety of workers. The precautionary principle is the foundation for policy when it has to deal with weakly understood causes of potential catastrophic or irreversible events, and where protective decisions require certain and costly policy interventions that may not solve the problem that they are designed to correct. As such, this principle provides a rationale and legal basis for actions taken, even when scientific information is incomplete or unavailable.

It is the 2 highest ethical and moral standard in circumstances such as these, and we urge employers to abide by this standard.

Worker Responsibilities:

 If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Self-monitor and if your symptoms do not improve in a couple of days, please contact your doctor’s office instead of visiting in person, call the provincial health agency, your general chairperson and the Canadian Office.

 Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with hands to prevent self-contamination; clean your hands before contact with any part of the body
 Ensure you are familiar with protocols issued by Health Canada
 Know your rights at work, your collective agreement, and relevant legislation. You have a right
to know about the risks associated with your work tasks, and you have the right to refuse dangerous work under certain circumstances. More information on this will be circulated.
 Know and follow employer policies and directives pertaining to COVID-19
 Wear PPE if exposure to COVID-19 is possible
 Avoid contact between contaminated gloves/hands and equipment and the face, skin or clothing when removing PPE.
 Stop if you do not have the required personal protective equipment and speak with your manager or supervisor; document the situation and copy your union and your H&S Committee representative.
 Report any health and safety concerns, including gaps in adequate protocols and procedures and/or communications, access to PPE, to training or other health and safety concerns to your manager or supervisor, copying your H&S Committee and your union.

Employer Responsibilities
 Work with Health and Safety committees to develop measures, procedures, policies and training
pertinent to COVID-19
 Ensure workers are properly trained and aware of procedures, protocols, and policies
 Review and update existing institutional pandemic plans
 Develop compensation packages for workers with child-care issues, and those who are forced
to stay home due to Health Canada directives
 Ensure PPE is readily available, that workers are fit-tested for the N-95( this should happen twice
a year)
 For those who have been fit-tested for the N-95 mask, ensure they are wearing identification of
the size for the mask
 Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment
 Ensure sufficient staffing is available to manage a possible outbreak in the workplace and
protocols to sub-contracting are followed
 Implement cleaning protocols for PPE equipment such as, fit-tested N-95, face shields, gloves,
head protection
 Ensure staff are using disposable equipment and that there are disposal protocols

We are continuously monitoring updated from Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada for updates, and will continue to issue information as it becomes available to us. For additional information consult the following websites;

Health Canada website with daily updates:

Public Health Ontario:

Additional Factsheets:

Stay healthy, safe and practice common sense. Protecting your health also protects the health of others.

In solidarity,

Stan Pickthall
General Vice President
IAMAW Canada