TORONTO — A strike by Air Canada’s customer service agents and other airport workers caused minor delays Tuesday morning, but union members predict travellers will face longer lineups and wait times as the walkout goes on.
Some 3,800 employees went on strike just after midnight Eastern Time after talks between their union and the airline failed to reach an agreement.
At Canada’s largest airport, Pearson International in Toronto, arriving travellers were greeted by several striking workers waving banners.
The workers were occupying a large section of the sidewalk outside the busy terminal, but were not impeding access to the facility.
Inside, Air Canada staff and managers were assisting travellers and guiding them toward self-serve kiosks.
Lineups at the kiosks grew longer as the morning went on.
“It looks good right now,” said Dawn Moreau, an Air Canada customer service agent for 34 years. “Is it going to stay this way? No.”
“We’re on Tuesday morning, it’s probably the slowest morning of the week. You get into your afternoon shifts, you get into your evening shifts, you get into snowball effects down the line.”
About a dozen flights were delayed or cancelled by mid-morning, but the airline said those changes are “within the norms of a typical summer day.”
“Our contingency plan is working as we expected it would,” said spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.