OTTAWA, Sept. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Unifor is filing an unfair labour practice complaint against Coventry Connections and the Ottawa Airport Authority, alleging they worked to undermine Unifor's bargaining rights and interfered with its legitimate status as the exclusive bargaining agent for airport cabbies.
"These drivers have been locked out for six weeks now," Unifor National Representative Harry Ghadban said. "They work long hours at minimum wage pay levels. They deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully."
Coventry Connections and the Airport Authority met in secret earlier this year and agreed to increase the fees charged to taxi drivers serving the airport, from $345 to more than $1,300 per month. The move was made without consulting either the City of Ottawa, which set taxi fees in the city, or drivers.
"It was a money grab by these two enterprises that will net them millions of dollars," Ghadban said, adding that attempts to negotiate a deal have been met with stonewalling from the company.
The complaint calls for compensation to be paid to drivers for losses suffered due to the lockout, and for any individual agreements signed with drivers who crossed the picket line to be cancelled.
"We are anxious to return to the table to negotiate a deal that is fair to all sides," Ghadban said.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 members, including more than 2,500 in the Ontario taxi industry. It was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.