Pearson Swissport strike continues

TORONTO, ON – The strike continues for 700 Swissport ground crew members at Pearson International Airport.

Newstalk 1010 radio reported a deal was offered to Teamsters Union Local 419 representing the workers on Aug. 21, the first since they went on strike July 27. That deal was rejected by workers last night.

Swissport handles baggage, cargo, cabin cleaning, aircraft towing, and flight operations for 45 airlines, including 12 charter and cargo airlines such as UPS Canada, Nolinor Aviation, and Cathay Pacific Cargo.

Delays at the beginning of the strike saw truck drivers trying to access Vista Cargo Terminal in Mississauga, Ontario waiting in line for up to 3 hours, dealing with backed up packages, and snarled traffic.

On August 10, a court injunction was filed against the union preventing them from holding trucks at the terminal for more than five minutes per truck, less than the 20 minutes per truck usually allowed by law. The injunction also prevented workers from holding more than six trucks in line at once.

Workers said the injunction was another strike-breaking technique Swissport was using, in addition to having non-unionized summer employees they said were crossing the picket line.

Local 419 members said worker issues included a proposed three-year wage freeze and changing schedules.

The company’s baggage handlers in Brussels als owalked off the job Aug. 21, causing delays in the European city.


This story has bbeen updated from an earlier version.

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