Taxi work stoppage at Montreal's Trudeau airport called off

Taxi drivers who work at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International put an end to their work stoppage before it even started after receiving confirmation that the airport authority would help with their problems.

Cabbies planned to protest over permit system for working at airport

Taxi drivers at Montreal's Trudeau airport called off their planned work stoppage and will continue to pick up fares at the airport without any interruption. (CBC)

Taxi drivers at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport have called off their planned work stoppage scheduled from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET.

Protest organizer Stanley Bastien says after meeting with a city official in charge of transport, and lawyers from Aéroports de Montréal, cab drivers decided to call off their work action. 

The drivers wanted to show their disapproval for the system needed to obtain a permit to work at the airport.

They say it is getting increasingly difficult to obtain the permit through the taxi bureau's lottery system.

Some 30 flights, from cities such as Toronto, New York and Paris, were scheduled to land at Trudeau during that time, and the drivers' actions could have caused long delays for travellers as they attempted to get to their destinations in and around Montreal.

"We've agreed to sit and discuss the problems," Bastien said. "There is an interest in trying to understand our problem and find a middle ground so we can continue to work in harmony."

Bastien said the airport authority, Aéroports de Montréal, gave the responsibility to handle the permits to the city's taxi bureau in 2009, and  the system has been plagued with problems ever since.

Bastien said there have been problems with the way the taxi bureau sends the notice to drivers confirming they've won one of the permits.

He said there were also problems with the inspection process which sometimes lead to drivers losing their airport permit.

He said drivers did not know to whom they should turn when they had a problem that needed addressing.

Bastien said problems were often bounced between the airport authority and the taxi bureau.

"We had to find out who was the boss and who we turn to. When we have a problem, we want to be able to talk to someone who can make a decision," Bastien said.

He said he's satisfied Aéroports de Montréal will work with cabbies to find a solution. 

Just over 300 taxi drivers have permits to pick up fares at the airport.