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Vancouver airport workers ready to walk out over Christmas

Dec. 1, 2009, Contract workers at Vancouver airport ready to walk out over Christmas VANCOUVER _ Three hundred unionized workers based at Vancouver International Airport hope the Christmas season gives them some leverage in contract talks.


December 1, 2009
By Administrator

Dec. 1, 2009, Contract workers at Vancouver airport ready to walk out over Christmas VANCOUVER _ Three hundred unionized workers based at Vancouver International Airport hope the Christmas season gives them some leverage in contract talks.

The employees, members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, have voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action.

They work for Swissport and provide ground handling and baggage services for Westjet and Continental Airlines.

According to union spokesman Todd Haverstock, contract talks have hit an impasse but job action could severely disrupt Westjet operations over the Christmas season.

He says a strike could also affect the entire airport because Swissport employees maintain all YVR's baggage sorting equipment.

Haverstock says Swissport's final offer contained no wage increase for workers with less than two year's service, and just one per cent annually for longer-term employees, something he says is unacceptable when the average full-time wage is $11.30 per hour.