Greater Toronto Airports Authority today announced a workforce reduction of 27 per cent as the company, which operates Toronto Pearson International Airport, introduces restructuring measures to combat the economic impact of COVID-19. The workforce reductions come into effect immediately, with departures extending through fall 2020.
In April 2020, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) reported its passenger numbers were reduced by 97 per cent compared to the same period of 2019. GTAA also notes the passenger numbers at Toronto Pearson are currently at approximately 1996 operating levels.
The reduction of approximately 500 positions, according to GTAA, will be achieved through the elimination of approximately 200 unfilled positions, together with voluntary departures and layoffs totaling approximately 300 employees. GTAA states it is working closely with Unifor and the Pearson Airport Professional Fire Fighters Association to implement these changes for their members.
GTAA notes the workforce reductions follow a number of cost reductions it has implemented since the pandemic began, including a hiring freeze, reducing planned capital spending by $265 million for 2020, and temporarily reducing executive and board of director salaries. GTAA has also leveraged the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance programs, and provided deferrals for eligible corporate partners.
“Our leadership team and board of directors have worked concertedly each month to navigate these turbulent times and have put our people first. This reduction in force is a difficult but necessary step, and one that we take with great sadness,” said Deborah Flint, president and CEO of the GTAA. “The leadership team and I are deeply grateful for the contributions of our employees, each of whom has been part of the success and legacy of the GTAA.”
The restructuring of GTAA includes the departure of two members of the GTAA executive team: Kim Stangeby, VP and chief strategy officer and interim VP, human resources, and Scott Collier, VP, customer and terminal services. Their portfolios will be redistributed across the organization, including under the newly established chief operating officer, Craig Bradbrook (formerly VP, aviation services), and in a new centre of commercial excellence led by chief financial officer, Ian Clarke. GTAA notes it will also complete a search for a new chief human resources officer.