Ground crew workers strike; may affect flights at Pearson
Travellers heading to Canada’s busiest airport were warned that a strike by hundreds of ground crew workers could affect some flights on Friday, but by mid-afternoon the labour the dispute had not created any major problems.
The striking workers at Toronto’s Pearson international airport include baggage handlers, cargo handlers, cabin cleaners, some employees who tow planes and other ground crew.
Since voting overwhelmingly Thursday night to reject a deal with their employer, Swissport, the unionized workers have been walking picket lines, hoisting signs and calling for a fair contract.
Swissport services several major airlines at the airport, including Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM and Lufthansa.
The airport said the labour disruption could impact some flights and asked passengers to check the status of their flights.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority said in a statement Friday afternoon that Pearson had been running smoothly “with minimal impact” throughout the day.
Teamsters Local 419, the union representing the workers, has said that Swissport is attempting to impose a three-year wage freeze on the majority of the workers, require staff to work a minimum of 30 hours a week to qualify for full benefits, and is seeking the right to change schedules with 96 hours advance notice.
Swissport said it has bargained in good f aith throughout contract talks.
Striking workers are seen picketing at Pearson airport in Toronto on Friday. Union says Swissport is attempting to impose a three-year wage freeze.