Vancouver airport workers could strike by long weekend
Airport says it hopes to avoid flight delays if union goes on strike Friday
About 300 workers at Vancouver's YVR airport could be on strike as early as this Friday, according to a statement released by their union today.
"We felt we had no choice." said Bob Jackson, spokesman for the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
"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 Public Service Alliance of Canada oversees the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, which represents workers employed directly by the airport, including those working in emergency response, runway maintenance and passenger loading operations.
The union is advising the public to contact YVR and their airline to check on the status of flights scheduled for the end of this week, because it's possible travellers could face significant delays heading into the Labour Day long weekend.
But Anne Murray, spokesperson for the Vancouver Airport Authority, said a "maintenance of service agreement" will keep things running smoothly if workers strike this weekend.
"We are not anticipating any strike-related delays," said Murray.
"That being said, it is the Labour Day long weekend and as always, we encourage people to check the website, YVR.ca, or check with your airlines, because the Labour Day weekend is a busy weekend."
Murray said two meetings will take place before the Friday strike deadline and the airport is working hard to find a solution everyone will consider fair.
Earlier this month, a spokesman for the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees said flexible shifts and protection from contracting out are two of the main issues at hand.
Negotiations between the union and the airport authority are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday.