Air Canada is anticipating no impact on its flights or operations due to a baggage handlers’ strike at Pearson International Airport, the largest airport in Toronto, an airline representative tells Travel Agent. Air Canada handles its own baggage handling at Toronto Pearson.
A spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority says that the airport has a contingency plan in place, as part of its emergency management program, that relates to public safety should a strike occur.
Workers from the Teamsters Canada Local Union 419 are set to strike Thursday at 9:30 p.m. over a contract dispute. The union represents baggage and cargo handlers, cabin cleaners and other ground operational roles, and has been in negotiations with Swissport Canada, the baggage handling company that employs its workers, and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority over a new contract.
The union had raised issues regarding the training of new, temporary workers hired last May by Swissport to deal with the summer travel rush. A statement by the union issued last week said that new temporary workers hired by the company only receive three to four days of training, rather than the three to four weeks union workers receive. Swissport has contended that the company is following its protocols.
Previous reports had indicated that Swissport services between 30 and 34 of the 74 airlines that use the airport.