OTTAWA – Beginning Monday, June 20, security screening officers at 41 airports across Canada will be wearing street clothes on the job to draw attention to longstanding concerns over substandard pay, working conditions and disrespect from the federal government.

WHO: Airport security screening officers, members of the United Steelworkers

WHAT: “Casual Monday,” with security officers wearing jeans to draw attention to longstanding concerns

WHERE: 41 airports across Canada

WHEN: Monday, June 20, 2022

“Airport security screening officers across Canada have been disrespected by the federal government for years,” said Marty Warren, National Director of the United Steelworkers union (USW), which represents thousands of screening officers at several airports across the country.

“Airport security screening officers face tremendous pressure, stress and demands in their jobs, but they are underpaid and undervalued by the federal government,” Warren said.

Security screeners at numerous airports across the country, members of the USW, are in negotiations for new collective agreements. Next week they will begin wearing jeans as part of “Casual Monday” actions at several airports, to bring public attention to their concerns over low pay and working conditions, which are due primarily to the federal government’s underfunding of the sector.

“Staff turnover is a longstanding problem, as many security officers simply quit to seek jobs with better pay and working conditions, and less stress. This has led to an untenable situation, with serious staffing shortages leading to greater pressure on security officers and unacceptable delays for travellers,” Warren said.

“The federal government is scrambling to respond to the public outcry over airport delays, but it is still failing to mandate the funding needed to provide the wages, working conditions and respect that security screening officers deserve.”

The Casual Monday action by security screeners will not disrupt service at their airports in any way, Warren emphasized.

“Our members sympathize with travellers who have had to endure lengthy delays. We want to bring public attention to the need for the federal government to treat airport security screeners with respect and to resolve these longstanding issues,” he said.

Airport security screening officers in Canada are employed by one of three private, multinational security companies (Allied Universal, Securitas, Garda).

“The system put in place by the federal government, through CATSA, provides healthy profits to the security contractors, while frontline security officers are told there isn’t enough funding to give them the better pay and working conditions they deserve,” said Warren.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is mandated to deliver effective, efficient and consistent screening that is in the interest of the travelling public at designated airports, by way of Pre-Board Screening, Hold Baggage Screening, Non-Passenger Screening, and Restricted Area Identity Card programs.  CATSA delivers the mandate of security screening at 89 designated airports across the country through a third-party screening contractor model.


CATSA itself , as an agent Crown corporation, is funded by parliamentary appropriations and accountable to the Parliament of Canada through the Minister of Transport. Consequently, CATSA’s financial plan is prepared in accordance with the resources it is assigned by the Government of Canada and as approved by Parliament.


The pandemic brought significant challenges to screening activities at airports to ensure safe air travel.  Yet customer satisfaction increased sharply. According to their 2021 Annual Report the quality of service exercised by Screening Officers including compliance with all safety protocols is clearly demonstrated.



The other glaring statistic is employee attrition.  Conveniently the formula determining the attrition rate was changed this year to average it out over all airports rather than the eight busiest airport.



Anecdotally, USW members advise leadership that the attrition rate is at an all time high, and the reason is that Screening Officers because of wages not being commensurate with the high degree of responsibility in keeping passengers across the country safe.


According to their 2021 Annual Report as at March 31, 2021, key management personnel of CATSA are composed of the 11 Board members and the five members of the senior management team. The salaries of these Board and key management members totalled $1.73M up from $1.645M in the previous year.   They gave themselves a 5.2% salary increase. Our members deserve nothing less. 

“It’s time for the federal government provide the funds and the mandate to CATSA to finally address the concerns of airport security screening officers who have been underpaid, undervalued and disrespected for too long,” Warren said.


On Monday, June 20, 2022, security screening officers at 41 airports across Canada will wear street clothes on the job to draw attention to longstanding concerns over substandard pay, working conditions and disrespect from the federal government.

Security screeners, members of the United Steelworkers union (USW), will be participating in “Casual Monday” at airports in the following communities:

Newfoundland and Labrador:

St. John's
Deer Lake
St. Anthony
Goose Bay
Churchill Falls


Quebec City
Val D'Or
La Grande Rivière,
La Macaza

Prince Edward Island:


Nova Scotia:


New Brunswick:

Saint John


Mount Hope

British Columbia:





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