Fredericton mayor urges end to airport strike
Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside wants to see an end to the strike at the Fredericton International Airport and is calling on both sides of the labour dispute to return to the bargaining table.
Twenty-five support and maintenance staff walked off the job in mid-February.
There haven’t been any major disruptions in travel because most of the workers are deemed essential in cases of emergencies and managers are doing some of the work.
But the picket line outside the airport does not send a good message to people arriving at Fredericton, said Woodside.
"It's important to who we are and what we're all about. So that's the last thing you want to see. And the public doesn't want to see that," he said.
"I think the public is saying, 'Enough is enough. Start talking and get this thing solved and get it behind you.’"
Woodside is also worried that if the labour dispute drags on, there could be an effect on air travel.
"So don't leave the community hostage here. And don't let it get any bigger than it is right now. I mean, we should be really working hard while there isn't a huge disruption, cause I don't want it to get to that point."
The 25 members of Local 60601 of the Canadian Transportation Employees Union, are responsible for emergency services, runways and maintenance.
They have been without a contract for three years and want one similar to what’s being offered at other airports in the Maritimes, Public Service Alliance of Canada officials have said.
The union also claims the workers have been subjected to poor working conditions, including bullying and harassment.
Fifteen of the 25 workers are deemed essential under their contract, meaning they have to work in the case of a major problem such as a snowstorm requiring the clearing of runways.
Six managerial employees have taken over maintenance duties during the strike.