By: Nicolas Di Nardo
Already checked in for your flight tomorrow? Flying out of Pearson by the end of the week? You better make sure you continuously check your flight time, because your flight could face some delays.
Why, you may ask? Pearson’s ground crew for 30 airlines may be going on strike tomorrow, with the potential to delay flights.
Monday, the union representing Swissport workers (approximately 700 employees) filed a 72-hour strike notice and will ask its members to shoot down the company’s final offer. Swissport believes their final offer is “fair and competitive, and expressed disappointment that the union may strike.” The union has not yet given members the reason why they are to reject this apparent fair and competitive offer.
All workers that will be going on strike as early as Thursday night include:
- Baggage Handlers
- Cargo Handlers
- Cabin Cleaners
The union is expressing their concerns with:
- Company’s decision to hire 250 temporary workers – without significant change in workload
- Union was only given a day’s warning before they began hiring the workers
- Training duration temps receive (3-4 days rather than 3-4 weeks)
- Don’t believe these workers can do their job with no experience and poor training
They also claim that Swissport hired those 250 workers to put leverage on workers during the current round of contract negotiations. Which they believe is sacrificing airport safety. Swissport’s response to the hiring of temporary workers as a way to respond to the summer rush, something they are permitted to do under the collective agreement.
As a result, the Teamsters have filed a formal complain with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. Specifics could not be discussed due to the upcoming CIRB case.
It will be interesting to see how many workers do go one strike, considering it has been mentioned that the union’s members don’t want to strike. Nevertheless, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority has a contingency plan in place in the event of a strike or labour disruption by Swissport workers.
Devry Smith Frank LLP (“DSF”) is a full service law firm in Toronto that has experienced Labour Law Lawyers that can assist employers in the event of union organizing, bargaining and negotiations, and strikes. If you require a Labour law Lawyer, contact DSF’s Labour Lawyers today, or call our office directly at 416-449-1400.