Security giant wins Halifax airport contract
By BILL POWER Business Reporter
Sat, Oct 1 – 4:55 AM A new face to security at Halifax Stanfield International Airport appears in November.
At least 250 security screeners at the airport will be affected as operations are assumed by Securitas Transport Aviation Security Ltd., a Canadian affiliate of Securitas AB in Sweden, one of the world’s biggest security companies.
“The transition should be seamless. The travelling public should not notice the change,” said Mathieu Larocque, a spokesman for the Canadian Transport Security Authority, in an interview Friday.
St. John’s-based Shannahan’s Investigation and Security Ltd. previously had the contract for security screening at the Halifax airport.
The change is part of an overhaul by the authority of security screening across Canada. Screeners in Halifax are now part of a new eastern region that involves between 1,700 employees in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.
“We have reduced the number of different contracts for security screening from 17 to four, and the number of regions from six to four,” said Larocque.
This consolidation of contracts is expected to create operating efficiencies and enhance the customer experience in each region.
“The contractor must ensure there is enough staff on hand to cover the peak periods and also the slow periods,” said Larocque.
The contract for security screeners in the eastern region is worth up to $481 million to Securitas over five years. There is an option to renew that contract in 2017 for another five years. Contracts in the other three Canadian regions are worth between $416 million to $652 million.
Larocque said existing collective agreements — covering salaries and benefits — for security screeners are protected by the Canadian Labour Act.
Security screeners at the Halifax airport voted in favour of a strike to back contract demands in May. At the time the workers were upset about split shifts.
That collective agreement, negotiated by Local 5319 of the United Steelworkers, expired March 31.
“We resolved the split-shift issue with the employer in the last collective agreement and the new employer is honouring the stipulation that only those workers who volunteer will receive split shifts,” said Lawrence MacKay, spokesman for United Steelworkers in the Maritimes.
The new contracts for airport screening services across Canada were announced on Aug. 8.
Securitas has more than a quarter million employees in 30 countries.
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