Strike ends at Montréal-Trudeau and Mirabel airports –
Swissport workers vote in favour of new contract
Montreal, January 30, 2020 – IAM Local Lodge 2301 members working at Swissport at Montreal-Trudeau and Mirabel airports voted to accept the employer’s offer, effectively ending the strike they were engaged in since 31 December, 2019.
“A majority of members felt the offer was something they could live with. Although it was not what they had before Swissport took over the contract as a result of contract-flipping, it is a step in the right direction”, said District IAM 140 Peter Tsoukalas.
“Our members showed solidarity and courage throughout the negotiations. The negotiations were complicated by the presence of scabs used by the employer and the stark absence of anti-scab measures. However, the gains obtained were sufficient enough that the members voted to return to work,” said Michel Richer, IAM Canada Grand Lodge Representative.
The new contract will cover the next 3 years. The 31 December strike was due to the employer’s refusal to acknowledge the unfairness of drastic cuts in salary and benefits since they assumed the contract in. A return to work is planned in the next few days.
Employees of Swissport Canada Inc., members of IAM Local 2301, are aircraft supply workers, dispatchers, fuel storage maintenance workers and mechanics.
Improving the Labour Code for Airport Workers
Having highlighted injustices in the Canadian Labour Code, this strike led the Bloc Québécois and the NDP to demand intervention by the Trudeau government to correct the situation.
At a press conference in Ottawa last Tuesday, the two opposition parties and the IAM denounced the despicable practice of contract-flipping as well as the absence of anti-scab measures.
On January 6, the IAM sent a letter to the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, asking her to intervene on these two issues. The IAMAW hopes to obtain a meeting with the Minister in the coming weeks to discuss these shortcomings of the Labour Code.
“The behaviour of Swissport Fueling since they obtained the contract, shows once again that Canadian labour laws favour employers”, said IAM Canadian General Vice-President, Stan Pickthall. “Turning a blind eye to this kind of situation is unacceptable. We therefore request a meeting with the Minister of Labour to resolve this once and for all.”
Peter Tsoukalas, IAM District 140 General Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Michel Richer, IAM Canada Grand Lodge Representative mricher@iamaw,org