Pearson ground crew strike continues after union votes 98% against Swissport contract offer
Ground crew workers have been on strike since July after overwhelmingly rejecting the company's last offer
The union representing some 700 baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and other ground crew has voted overwhelmingly against a contract offer by Swissport, meaning workers won't be ending their work stoppage, which has gone on four weeks already.
Teamsters Local 419 says 98 per cent of its members voted to reject the deal.
"Swissport's new offer was almost identical to what our members rejected in the first place," explained Harjinder Badial, vice-president of the local, in a statement Wednesday night.
"The fact that the company is still refusing to address the issues that led to a strike is a slap in the face for our members and travellers at Pearson."
The company is still attempting to impose a three-year wage freeze on the majority of its workers, cut benefits, and gain the right to change schedules on short notice, said the statement.
Swissport services 30 airlines at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, including Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Air France, KLM and Lufthansa. Air Canada and WestJet are not serviced by the company.
Ground crew workers have been on strike since July after overwhelmingly rejecting the company's last offer. Their concerns have included pay and benefits cuts, scheduling issues, and what their union calls a lack of respect from Swissport managers.
The terms of the new offer weren't provided by either the union or Swissport ahead of the vote Wednesday, but the company had said it was optimistic that workers would accept the deal.
With files from The Canadian Press