Airport strikers stop trucks

Wednesday marked Day 2 of the strike at St. John's International Airport, where about 85 maintenance and emergency workers are on the picket line.
Union leader Wayne Fagan says strikers will stop all construction trucks entering the airport until an agreement is reached. (CBC)

Wednesday marked Day 2 of a strike at St. John's International Airport.

About 85 maintenance and emergency workers are on the picket line after talks broke off with airport management earlier this week.

So far, there have been few disruptions for travellers, since strikers are letting the public pass through.

Extensive construction is underway at St. John's Airport. (CBC)

But they do have one trick up their sleeve, and it's slowing construction at the airport.

All trucks involved in the major project were stopped at the picket line on Wednesday.

"We're basically asking if they have a police escort," said union spokesman Wayne Fagan. "We hold them up, the police escort comes, then we allow them to go in."

No flights are being affected because an essential services agreement is in place. Travellers shouldn't notice much of a change other than possible delays getting into the airport parking lot.

Security personnel are stationed at the picket line to make sure strikers play nice. But besides stopping the trucks, they have few legal options to cause headaches.

"This is going to ramp up as the airport goes on," said Fagan. "If they want to keep playing this game, we'll play the game back. This is what we're doing, we're slowing it down.

"It's not about the public, it's about the airport authority getting back to the bargaining table, so let's do it."

Strikers also received political support from NDP MP Ryan Cleary, who stopped by for a chat on Wednesday.

He said he's been looking over the airport's financial statements.

"Excess of expenses over revenues in 2011 is $4.2 million, so the airport is doing well in terms of revenue and doing well in terms of traffic," said Cleary.

"Obviously, it's continually under construction, but that's not reflected in the salaries or the benefit packages of the workers."

The airport authority says the strike has had no impact on its construction schedule.