Montreal airport refuellers vote in favour of New Year’s Day strike

The workers in charge of refuelling planes at Montreal’s Trudeau and Mirabel airports could walk off the job on New Year’s Day, threatening to disrupt the busy holiday travel season.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said Saturday its members have voted 99 per cent in favour of a strike unless a new contract agreement with their employer is reached.

“They’re not in the habit of going on strike or threatening to go on strike. But the membership is quite firm,” union spokesman Frank Saptel said in a phone interview.

“Both parties need to talk and hopefully they’ll get somewhere.”

The 100 or so unionized employees of Swissport Canada also rejected a tentative contract deal in a 90 per cent vote Friday night.

Mediation recommenced Saturday afternoon, with salaries and work-life balance the main points of contention between the employer and the workers, who have been without a contract since August.

“The ball is in the employer’s court and we need its help,” union local president Peter Tsoukalas said in a statement.

Swissport Canada is the only supplier of fuel for airlines operating out of Trudeau and Mirabel airports.

“We’re going back to the negotiating table with an open mind and in good faith, hoping that we can come to an agreement quickly,” said the Zurich-based company, which is owned by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group Co. Ltd.

A strike would cause “minimal disruption” and air traffic would, for the most part, ”continue as normal,” Swissport said.

New Year’s Day is relatively quiet at Canadian airports, but traffic ramps up in the first week of January, with Trudeau airport averaging 55,000 passengers daily throughout the holiday season.

The employees threatening to strike include refuelling personnel, machinists, dispatchers, maintenance workers and mechanics.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Survey: 43% of Red Deer area businesses do not plan to rehire once COVID crisis ends

Red Deer and District Chamber of commerce surveys local businesses

Olds College gets $5 million to study agriculture technologies

Money going towards college’s Smart Agriculture Applied Research Program

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

OTTAWA — The federal government must do more to help provinces prepare… Continue reading

Solidarity together: Central Albertans protest in Red Deer against racism

There’s no such thing as a little bit of racism. Even one… Continue reading

Kenney’s party doesn’t need taxpayer handouts

The United Conservative Party said it would stick up for taxpayers, but… Continue reading

There’s no point arguing climate change is just a hoax

Re: “Global warming critics find themselves under attack,” Letter, May 26. Like… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: Hobo Jungle was once an oasis for those who couldn’t find work

There is a lot of well-founded concern about the enormous worldwide impact… Continue reading

Former Canadian university defenceman Kodie Curran signs with Anaheim Ducks

CALGARY — Kodie Curran took an unorthodox route to an NHL contract.… Continue reading

Creator fires ‘Law & Order’ spin-off writer for online posts

LOS ANGELES — A TV writer who has worked on “S.W.A.T.” and… Continue reading

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Joint federal-provincial inquiry into N.S. mass shooting a good option: top expert

Joint federal-provincial inquiry into N.S. mass shooting a good option: top expert

As U.S. boils over, calls for Canadian justice ring out in House of Commons

As U.S. boils over, calls for Canadian justice ring out in House of Commons

Most Read