On March 11, employees of Enterprise Holdings at Toronto Pearson International Airport went on strike to protest proposed cuts in wages and benefits. The contract under negotiation involves 93 employees, primarily for National and Alamo, who wash, prepare and shuttle rental cars at the company's airport operation.
According to United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175 union organizer Jehan Ahamed, Enterprise is asking for cuts in hourly wages, vacation days and sick days, as well as requiring its employees to pay 100 percent of their benefits.
Ahamed said the striking workers have established picket lines at terminals one and three at the airport and at two garage locations. The picketers are turning away potential Enterprise customers and sending them to car rental competitors.
"We are willing to look at a fair solution," Ahamed told Auto Rental News. "We want to get back to the table and resolve this dispute as soon as possible. A labor dispute is a loss for everyone."
Enterprise Holdings issued the following statement:
"Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates the Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, has been engaging in good faith negotiations with the UFCW Local 175 since January in an attempt to renew the collective bargaining agreement for the Service Agents and Shuttlers. These negotiations ended without agreement, and on March 11, 2011, Local 175 decided to strike.
The primary issues concern work quality and productivity, economic concessions and management rights. The company's approach to the negotiations is guided by a need to align this work group with the rest of our Canadian operations in terms of cost and productivity. While many of the union's statements are inaccurate, we are going to respect the process and not discuss the details of the negotiations."