Swissport strike at Pearson comes to an end

Published On October 16, 2017 | By Jacob Phillips | News

By: Tyson Lautenschlager

As one strike begins, another one comes to an end.

Employees at Swissport, who had been on strike at Pearson International Airport since July 27, voted 63 per cent in favour last night of ending the strike after reaching a new agreement proposed earlier in the month. This means 700 employees will return to work on Wednesday.

“We are pleased with the outcome of yesterday’s vote. This ratification provides a good deal for employees and will allow Swissport to continue to operate in Toronto in a sustainable way and on a long-term basis,” Pierre Payette, Vice President of Operations for Toronto, Swissport Canada Handling Inc. said in an email statement to Humber News.

“In anticipation of our team’s return to YYZ, we have lined up the appropriate resources to ensure a smooth transition as we welcome them back on the job. At this time, we wish to thank the workers, our customers and partners in the YYZ community for their support over the past few months in helping us keep travelers moving safely.”

Some of the main issues of the 80-day strike included better benefits and wages for workers.

Teamsters, the union representing the workers, said the new three-year deal addresses all these issues and offers “minor improvements.”

“I would like to thank our members, mediators and the bargaining committee for their time and efforts over the past months,” Harjinder Badial, Vice-President of Local Union 419 said in a statement. “Teamsters will continue working to improve conditions at Swissport over the coming years.”

The company offers its baggage handling and ground crew services to 30 airlines at Pearson including Sunwing Airlines, Air Transat and British Airways. Air Canada and WestJet, two of Canada’s biggest airlines, are not serviced by the company.

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