Airports authority seeks injunction against employees accused of picketing at private homes
150 Winnipeg Airport Authority employees went on strike at 3 a.m. on July 24
The Winnipeg Airports Authority is asking for a court order against several of its own employees and the union representing them after it says striking workers engaged in "mass picket activity" at the homes of authority staff.
At 3 a.m. on July 24, 150 airport employees — duty managers, administrative workers, various tradespeople, IT workers, airfield maintenance personnel and labourers — went on strike and set up a picket line at the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.
But at around 5 p.m. the day before, the airports authority alleges a group of workers went to the personal homes of other authority staff or contractors, picketing at the homes and obstructing access.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The allegations are laid out in a statement of claim filed on behalf of the Winnipeg Airports Authority on July 26.
In it, the authority claims damages, a permanent injunction and a court order against eight named staff members, the union local, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and Marianne Hladun, the regional vice-president of the union for the prairie region.
"PSAC looks forward to the court's decision and have no further comment at this time," Hladun said in a prepared statement emailed to CBC News by a spokesperson.
The statement of claim accuses the defendants of "wrongfully watching and besetting the plaintiff's property and said personal residences [and] persons attending there," as well as pursuing and following employees and people trying to enter or exit the properties.
Defendants also picketed and obstructed access to a portion of the airports authority's property not considered a public thoroughfare, the authority alleges.
The workers, who are also represented by the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, have been in negotiations since last October and without a contract since June 30, 2016.
The strike followed an unsuccessful week at the bargaining table with the assistance of a federally-appointed mediator.
Hladun has said the main issue has been around the use of contract workers and told CBC News in July the airports authority has increased its use of contract workers.
The airports authority maintains it doesn't contract out union work, stating it has actually increased unionized positions since the new terminal opened in 2011.