Getting to know our workers

Pearson airport is a large and complex place to work, with more than 400 companies employing about 50,000 people. As the airport integrator, we wanted to find out more about the workers who keep the airport running day in and day out. To do this, we completed a full workforce survey, something that no other Canadian airport has done, and the findings have now been released in a new report, titled, “Understanding the Pearson workforce.”

The report shows:
  • Pearson’s employees are diverse in terms of age, immigration status, ethnicity, education levels and family make-up.
  • Pearson provides a strong and stable work environment with opportunities for employee growth and development, and this is reflected in employee satisfaction and attitudes toward working at the airport.
  • Employees view Pearson as a workplace that provides opportunity for advancement and career growth. The majority of employees believe that Pearson provides not only a good job today, but also opportunity to grow and advance, and although they express a desire to advance from their current jobs, they want to stay at the airport in their next role. This extends to those with elements of precarity in their work arrangements, such as minimum wage and part-time work.
  • Commuting represents a primary challenge for the workforce at Pearson, with an average daily commute time of two hours. The majority of respondents commute by car to Pearson, even if they live close to the airport; most employees feel that they do not have viable transit options for their commute.

Overall, our employees are optimistic about their futures at Pearson. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority’s President and CEO, Howard Eng, is encouraged by the findings in the report and expects the survey to inform future planning at the airport.


“The results of Canada’s first ever airport workforce survey are heartening in that they reinforce what most people who work at Pearson already know—the airport is dynamic, the workforce is diverse, and rewarding, long-term careers are built here,” says Eng. “The survey results also point to avenues that require further exploration, including determining, in cooperation with employers and unions, ways in which employees can be provided with more growth opportunities, as well as giving workers more choice when it comes to transit options to and from the airport.”


And the Toronto Airport Workers Council (TAWC) is looking forward to continued collaboration as a result of the survey findings.

“Pearson is a small city, with some 50,000 people working for hundreds of companies,” says Steven Tufts, Spokesperson for TAWC. “We’re pleased with the collaborative approach that Pearson is taking to understanding the demographic profile of Pearson’s workforce and we’re looking forward to continuing in that spirit of collaboration as we explore future work based on these results, particularly with regard to addressing precarity and improving transit options for Pearson employees.”


This survey and this report could not have been completed without the contributions and support of the airport employees and employers, TAWC , Northstar and the Peel-Halton Workforce Development Group. In this spirit of continued collaboration, we look forward to partnering with airport employers, employees and TAWC on initiatives to leverage opportunities for increased prosperity at Pearson.

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