Strike takes flight at Winnipeg airport

WINNIPEG — About 150 unionized workers at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport have gone on strike.

The workers — members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees and the Public Service Alliance of Canada — set up pickets after hitting a strike deadline of 3:00 a.m. local time today.

Thomas Linner, a transportation employees spokesman, says seven days of negotiations ended at 6 p.m. Sunday when an agreement couldn’t be reached and the employer walked away from the table.

The strikers include duty managers, administrative workers, IT staff and airfield maintenance workers who have been without a contract since June 30, 2016.

The unions say a key issue in the labour dispute is the contracting out of work — an allegation the Winnipeg Airports Authority has refuted.

The authority says on Twitter that airport operations are running normally and that it doesn’t expect the strike to have a significant impact.

Marianne Hladun, regional executive vice-president for PSAC, says 25 people were on the picket line as of 4:30 a.m. Monday.

“PSAC and its members are disappointed with the airport’s decision to not address issues tabled last October, and which remain unresolved,” she said.

“PSAC is committed to a successful strike action, if that is what is necessary, to ensure that these important workplace issues are resolved and employees’ work is protected.” (CTV Winnipeg, CJOB)

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