IAM Canada participates in ITF meeting: “We learned and we shared”

IAM Canada participates in ITF meeting: "We learned and we shared”

Last week, in Manchester, England, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) brought together airport representatives from Buenos Aires (EZE), Manchester (MAN) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ), to take part in discussions about the impact of technological change and artificial intelligence on airport workers. The goal was to look at existing regulations and bargaining provisions from around the world and to seek ways to bring forward common language that can be shared with ITF affiliates. 

Dave Flowers, President and Directing General Chairperson (PDGC) of IAM District 140 and Dan Janssen, General Chairperson (GC) of IAM District 140, took part in the discussions toshare their knowledge about Canada’s existing legislation and efforts at YYZ to create a Tech Change Advisory Committee with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).

Each airport group had the opportunity to share and to provide input on complex issues such as the right to disconnect, personal data protection, automation, new technology displacing workers, impacts of artificial intelligence on workers and society, how to prepare trade unions for the future of work and how can trade unions use technology to offer better service levels to our membership. 

PDGC Dave Flowers said of the meeting, “It is important to participate in these kinds of meetings so the IAM in Canada can not only share what we’ve learned, but also to bring back what others are sharing with us. Artificial Intelligence is here to stay, but it’s our job to ensure that its working for workers – our members!”

GC Dan Janssen also observed, “Airports around the world are seeking ways to implement technology to improve processes and optimize operations, and our borders are becoming increasingly digitalized. It was refreshing to see that the ITF is taking a proactive approach to technological change in the workplace with the mindset that workers interests must be protected and that a just transition to sustainable jobs for displaced workers be prioritized by airport authorities, airlines and airport operators.” 

An upcoming study is being prepared by the Global Labour Institute, which will be released by the ITF in the near future. The study will be shared with ITF affiliates around the world to assist Trade Unions through this period of increasing digitalization within airports.

For more information:
Dave Flowers, IAM District 140 PDGC
Dan Janssen, IAM District 140 GC