For immediate release
31 December, 2019
Montreal – Members of IAM Local Lodge 2301 were unable to reach a tentative agreement before the strike deadline. As of 11:00 this morning, workers of Swissport Canada Inc. are on strike and will cease performing aircraft refueling operations at Montréal-Trudeau and Mirabel airports. It appears that Swissport’s intention to use management employees to maintain its fuelling operations may cause disruptions at both airports.
“What we want is a contract which respects the workers for the work they are performing every day. It’s unfortunate to have to go on strike to make this clear to the employer. All the workers are asking for is to be recognised for the work they do and be compensated accordingly” said Transportation District 140’s General Chairperson, Peter Tsoukalas of the IAM.
At this time there are no further meetings scheduled. However, the Union’s bargaining committee is willing to resume conciliation discussions in an effort to resolve the dispute. “Our attitude has not changed. We intend to negotiate a win-win agreement and we encourage the employer to come back to the table and negotiate “said Peter Tsoukalas.
Other issues affecting bargaining are the high turnover of staff, partly due to low pay and lack of training. “This costs the company money and productivity. The workers still on the job have to pick up the slack. This causes stress and affects health and safety”, said Tsoukalas.
“These are highly skilled and trained workers who are fuelling aircraft that carry the traveling public. Now Swissport proposes to utilize managers and others who will not have the relevant experience and skill to do this work,” said Stan Pickthall, IAM Canada General Vice-President. “This is not like filling up your snowmobile with a fuel can. The safety requirements are a top priority in order to protect traveling families.”
Swissport is a multinational company with nearly 70,000 employees worldwide which has posted significant revenues and profits in past years.
Workers at Swissport Canada Inc., members of IAM Local 2301, are aircraft supply workers, dispatchers, fuel storage maintenance workers and mechanics. Their collective agreement expired in August 2019 and since May 23rd they have been trying to reach an agreement with their employer.
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For more information:
Peter Tsoukalas – General President of IAM Transportation District Lodge 140
514-336-3031 / 514-577-6140
Frank Saptel, IAMAW Communications Representative for Canada 416-579-0481
Guillaume Valois, communications, public relations and research, 514-966-0915