News Release: Winnipeg Airport’s approach to safety violations puts travellers at risk

The Winnipeg Airport Authority has been sitting on a potential threat to public safety for over a year.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, August 11, 2017

Winnipeg, MB – The Winnipeg Airport Authority (WAA) has been sitting on a potential threat to public safety for over a year.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has recently received information regarding a serious incident  that could compromise the safety of aircraft using WAA runways. PSAC is informed that on July 20, 2016 a temporary Non-Passenger Screening Vehicle Facility – located within 500 metres of a runway and within 20 metres of a taxiway –  was lifted by winds. Despite the potential danger to aircrafts, personnel and passengers created by this situation, PSAC has been informed that the building in question still does not having a valid occupancy permit more than one year later.

“Can you imagine what would have happened if the building let go while the Prime Minister’s plane was landing here last week?” said Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President of the PSAC. “The information we have received in confidence indicates that the WAA has been aware of this urgent public safety concern for more than a year, but has yet to fix the problem. If the Prime Minister’s visit isn’t an incentive, then what is?”

Upon receiving this troubling information, PSAC has written to both the Minister of Transport and the President of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to ensure that both organizations are aware of the risk potentially posed to the travelling public.

Approximately 150 employees—including duty managers, administrative workers, various tradespersons, IT workers, airfield maintenance, and labourers—are represented by PSAC and the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE). They have been on strike since July 24, 2017 after the employer walked away from federally mediated negotiations. The workers have been without a contract since June 30, 2016 and in negotiations since October 2016.

PSAC represents more than 170,000 workers across Canada, including nearly 8,000 in Manitoba and 150 employees at the Winnipeg Airports Authority. UCTE is a component of PSAC, which represents workers in both the public sector—Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Parks Canada—and private sector—Airports and NAV Canada.

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For more information, please contact:

Thomas Linner

Regional Communications Officer

PSAC, Prairie Region

linnert@psac.com

 

NOTE FOR MEDIA: Please see attached picture of the structure in question, and the attached letter sent to Minister Garneau.