Montreal unionized airport refuellers to vote on new contract offer

MONTREAL — The workers in charge of refuelling planes at Montreal’s Trudeau and Mirabel airports will vote today on a new contract offer negotiated between their union and the employer just before Christmas.

The 100 or so unionized employees of Swissport Canada had threatened to disrupt the busy holiday travel season by walking off the job on Christmas Day if a new agreement was not reached.

On Sunday, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers said that if the latest offer is rejected, the parties will return to the bargaining table with the possibility of launching a strike on New Year’s Day.

Salaries and work-life balance were the main points of contention between the employer and the workers, who have been without a contract since August. 

Swissport Canada human resources vice-president Louis-Philippe Charland previously suggested the union would recommend management’s offer be accepted, although the union has not confirmed that.

Swissport Canada is the only supplier of fuel for airlines operating out of Trudeau and Mirabel airports. The employees threatening to strike include refuelling personnel, machinists, dispatchers, maintenance workers and mechanics.

In the event of a strike, Swissport says management would be redeployed to ensure certain services are maintained.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2019

The Canadian Press