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Airline caterer Gate Gourmet reaches tentative deal with striking workers

April 30, 2024  By The Canadian Press

Food service workers say they have reached a tentative agreement with airline caterer Gate Gourmet nearly two weeks after walking off the job, meaning travellers through Toronto may soon find a full menu option on flights once again. A worker walks on the tarmac at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Halifax on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Airline caterer Gate Gourmet has reached a tentative agreement with food service workers nearly two weeks after they walked off the job, meaning travellers through Toronto may soon find a full menu option on flights once again.

A ratification vote will take place throughout Monday and if workers approve the collective agreement, Teamsters Canada said employees will be back on the job Tuesday.

About 800 catering workers at Toronto’s Pearson airport went on strike on April 16, leaving thousands of passengers without meals.

The employees cook, package and deliver food and drinks to planes for service on board, with Air Canada and WestJet having to limit meal offerings after the job action.


The tentative agreement comes after Ontario mediators called the picketing workers back to the table Friday for talks with the Swiss-owned Gate Gourmet.

The company declined to comment on the development Monday morning.

When the strike kicked off, Air Canada said short-haul flights would be most affected. Economy-class customers on flights under two hours would receive a pretzel or cookie along with water, while those in business class would not enjoy their usual hot meal service, the airline said.

WestJet said two weeks ago that flights operating through Pearson on Boeing 737 planes — the vast majority of its fleet — may experience “an inconsistent food or beverage offering.”

Gate Gourmet is the largest airline catering company operating out of Toronto, with clients that include Air Canada, WestJet, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Owned by Gategroup, it operates in more than 135 locations in 33 countries, according to its website. Those figures include eight airports in Canada.

Details of the tentative deal — finalized by negotiators over the weekend — were being withheld from the public until workers had a chance to see them, the union said Sunday night.

“I would like to thank our members for their incredible courage and solidarity, and salute everyone who supported us throughout this process,” said Martin Cerqua, president of the union local, in a release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2024.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2023


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