Garda World Security Corp to cut 300 jobs in Canada

Almost 300 security screeners at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, employees of Montreal-based Garda World Security Corp., face potential layoff, the Canadian Auto Workers Union said Thursday.

But Garda said it is temporarily laying off 68 security workers at Pearson and reducing the number of hours of 231 others to 20 hours weekly.

The union said Garda notified its airport security staff that 299 layoffs will be effective Jan. 25. It said the layoffs should be delayed to ensure public safety and the federal government should become directly involved in a contract dispute that has lasted several months.

Garda's statement said airport screening operations "have been affected by an adjustment in the number of available hours over the last several months ... on Wednesday we informed our union that we are reducing weekly hours, temporarily laying off 68 employees and reducing the number of hours of 231 employees to 20 hours weekly ... we will minimize the impact on passengers."

Last autumn, Garda won a five-year contract worth $652 million to provide enhanced security at 15 central region (mainly Ontario) airports, including Pearson International, with an option for a five-year extension. Garda previously provided screening at Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton, but gave these up for the Ontario airports.

The company operates cash-handling, risk-management and personal security businesses in North America, Asia, the Mideast and elsewhere.

Source: Montreal Gazette