Laval, October 29, 2020 – Avis Budget Group has announced that it is drastically reducing its activities and laying off the majority of its workers in Quebec. The company is invoking a case of “force majeure” to justify its decision.
Until last January, Teamsters Local Union 931 represented 200 workers in two of the company’s eight branches across the province. From now on, only 15 workers will keep their jobs.
“Why is Avis Budget Group eliminating nearly 90% of its positions, while Hertz, a competitor that has filed for creditor protection, still employs nearly one worker out of two?” asked the president of Teamsters Local Union 931, Richard Lamoureux. “We also learned that managers at Avis Budget Group are doing the work of union members.”
National, which also operates in vehicle rentals, kept 37 of its 82 unionized positions.
Before the pandemic, many Teamster members were employed by the three major competitors in this sector.
“The dramatic drop in tourism and business meetings explains the difficult situation in which the three companies find themselves,” explained Teamsters Canada president François Laporte. “However, Avis Budget owes its workers – and the union – an explanation, since National and Hertz managed to keep more jobs, while Avis Budget is almost totally eliminating them.”
Teamsters Local Union 931 is following the situation very closely and is currently evaluating legal options to force the Avis Budget Group to stop using managers to do the work of unionized employees. In addition, the Teamsters have grievances awaiting arbitration, but the employer does not appear to be willing to cooperate in the handling of these.
Teamsters represent all the car-rental companies at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, as well as some in downtown Montreal.
The workers of Avis Budget Group joined the Teamsters in 1971.
Teamsters represent close to 125,000 workers across Canada. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.