#Sunwing, #AirTransat, #TorontoInternationalAirport, #Teamsters Canada Local Union 419, #Swissport , #possible strike, #ChristopherMonette, #HarjinderBadial, #PierrePayette, #GreaterTorontoAirportsAuthority, #GTAA
Toronto, July 26 (Canadian-Media): A possible strike or labour disruption by a large number of Swissport baggage handling staff -- who service 30 of the 74 airlines including Sunwing and Air Transat -- at Toronto's International Airport Thursday could mean delays starting Thursday, media reports said.
Local spokesperson Christopher Monette -- unhappy with Swissport's recent move to employ temporary workers -- said the union will urge its 700 members to vote against Swissport's final offer, CBCNews reports said.
Airlines that were reported to be affected included Air Transat, Air France, British Airways and KLM Royal Dutch but the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) said Tuesday that it had a contingency plan in place in the event of a strike or labour disruption by the Swissport workers.
A statement issued by the Teamsters Canada Local Union 419 -- which represents regular baggage and cargo handlers, cabin cleaners, and other ground operational roles -- last week claimed the temporary workers were inexperienced and received poor training.
Monette thought this move by Swissport was a method to replace the normal regular workers and added that they were being forced into this strike.
Harjinder Badial, vice-president of Teamsters Local 419, said he was concerned Swissport was trying to sacrifice airport safety.
Pierre Payette, vice president of operations Swissport Canada responded that it had hired the temporary workers to help handle the summer travel rush.
The union, however, said a strike notice to had been issued its members and added that they will be in a legal strike position Thursday at 9:30pm.
Meanwhile, the GTAA said it was prepared for the possible strike and disruptions and added that passengers should consult with their airlines for the up-to-date information on their flights.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)