Hundreds of unionized workers at YVR (Vancouver International Airport) have voted in favour of a strike and have warned that they may walkout could as early as the Labour Day long weekend.
YVR airport quickly addressed the issue saying that they intend on resolving the matter and for now there is no immediate threat to airport operations.
The Union representing workers employed directly by the Vancouver Airport Authority has served 72 hour strike notice at the airport.
Job action could begin as soon as Friday, August 30.
Approximately 300 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada/Union of Canadian Transportation Employees Local 20221 provide key services such as emergency response, international arrivals customer care, runway maintenance, airfield & approach lighting, passenger loading operations, maintenance and administrative services at the airport.
“We felt we had no choice,” says Bob Jackson, Regional Executive Vice-President of the Public Service Alliance ofCanada. “YVR is demanding concessions but at the same time are budgeting millions of dollars per year on capital projects. Our members find this unacceptable.”
The Airport Authority has tabled language that weakens apprenticeship provisions in the collective agreement and wants to create a two-tier wage system by creating a new class of ‘seasonal’ workers.
“Job action will cause significant delays at the airport and we are advising travelers to plan accordingly,” says Dave Clark, Regional Vice-President of the UCTE, a component of the PSAC. “The public should contact YVR or their airline to check on the status of their flights.”
Eleventh-hour negotiations with the assistance of a federal mediator are scheduled for August 28 and 29.
“We hope our talks are productive but we are prepared to take job action if necessary. The ball is in YVR’s court,” Clark sums up.
Source: Public Service Alliance of Canada