Airport Limo Drivers Locked-out of Using their own Cars
December 1, 2010, 12:11 PM EST
Drivers for airport limousine services McIntosh, Air Cab and Aaroport have been "locked out" of their jobs after the company owner refused to release provincial vehicle registration stickers.
The drivers have set up a picket outside the office of the three companies, located at 680 Sheppard Street West, in Toronto.
The move by the company comes after it walked away from negotiations with the CAW in early November, refusing to settle on a first agreement. CAW Local 252 represents the approximately 200 drivers.
The drivers must buy their car from the company owner at a marked up price and then it gets registered under the company's name, which has enabled the lock-out to occur. The workers also must pay for the vehicle registration but cannot obtain it, independent of their employer.
"This practice is completely incomprehensible and without this first hand knowledge, I would never have believed it," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "These workers, predominately first generation Canadians and workers of colour, are extremely exploited, it is outrageous."
A brief summary of the current terms of employment:
-The driver buys the car from the employer at highly inflated prices and then must transfer ownership to the employer, without any confirming paperwork;
-The driver has to also buy insurance from the employer without getting a policy that sets out premiums, coverage, or limitations;
-The driver also pays significant sums of money for permit and dispatch fees.
This practice is sanctioned by Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
In addition to picketing outside the company's head office, the union is planning other actions - should the company not return to the bargaining table.
"We're now entering one of the busiest travel seasons of the year and it's critical that we reach a first collective agreement for this group of workers and end the exploitative practices of this employer," said Lewenza.