International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

December 01, 2009 10:00 ET

Machinists Take Strike Vote at Swissport

WestJet Christmas Flights at Risk!

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor VANCOUVER, BC MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2009) - For Immediate Release

Vancouver, BC - Members of IAMAW Local Lodge 16 employed by Swissport at Vancouver International Airport, have given their bargaining committee a strike mandate by a margin of 94 per cent. The possibility of a strike could have a significant impact on WestJet flights over the Christmas holidays!

"This vote was necessary because bargaining talks with the employer have reached an impasse," said IAMAW District 140 General Chairperson Todd Haverstock. "We have removed the vast majority of our monetary proposals from the table to try and kick start these talks but the response of the employer has been next to minimal."

The company's final offer included no wage increases for employees on the first four steps of the pay scale or with less than two years of service and they make up the vast majority of Swissport's Vancouver workforce. "For other workers, the average increase amounts to slightly over one per cent per year over a three-year agreement and when you consider the average full-time wage is $11.30 per hour, this offer is nothing short of crap," said Haverstock.

The 300 members are vital to WestJet's Vancouver operations because they provide ground handling and baggage services and a work stoppage would jeopardize Christmas flights. The members also serve Continental Airlines as well as maintain the baggage sortation equipment at Vancouver International Airport.
/For further information: Todd Haverstock – IAMAW District Lodge 140 General Chairperson
Bill Trbovich –IAMAW Director of Communications
416-386-1789 ext#6331/416-735-9765


Contact Information

  • Bill Trbovich, Director of Communications, IAMAW
    Primary Phone: 416-386-1789 ext. 6331
    Secondary Phone: 416-735-9765