VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Nov. 23, 2016) - Flights in and out of Vancouver International Airport could be disrupted this weekend after a strike deadline was issued today by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to Swissport Canada for 1 pm Saturday November 26th.
The 855 members of IAM Local Lodge 16 are seeking better wages, wage parity, benefits, pensions, and overall fairness to workers.
"Swissport is one of the largest airline ground handling companies in the world," explained IAM Transport District Lodge 140 General Chairperson Todd Haverstock. "Swissport recently purchased ground service provider Servisair and we're negotiating the merger of two collective agreements which have both expired. There is a sizeable gap in the wages between the two groups and the membership wants pay equity and they're willing to go on strike to get it." The two sides reached a tentative agreement November 10th but the membership rejected the deal.
"The employer has to recognize that we are trying to negotiate an agreement which does not disadvantage either side and not making this agreement retroactive is a major stumbling block," said Haverstock. "We are willing to go back to the bargaining table to avoid a strike but the membership is adamant, the tentative agreement was unsatisfactory."
The members provide ramp and grooming services as well as operate and maintain the entire baggage belt systems at Vancouver International. Swissport services Westjet, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Airlines, China Southern, Air China, Japan Airlines, Ana Airlines, Alaska Air, Korean Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Quantas, Air New Zealand, Philippine Airlines, Air Transat and Eva Airlines.