Baggage Handlers, Ground Workers Strike at Toronto Pearson

By Jesse Sokolow on 28 July 2017
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IMG_3681Over 700 baggage handlers, flight operations workers, and cabin cleaners went on strike late Thursday night at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The workers, employees of Swissport, provide services to over two dozen airlines at the airport including Lufthansa, British Airways, and Etihad.

The strike is in response to Swissport’s attempts to impose a three-year wage freeze on many of its workers. The company is also trying to mandate that workers work 30 hours a week in order to qualify for full health benefits.

In addition, Swissport wants to be able to change workers’ schedules as little as 96 hours in advance, taking away the stability in many employees’ lives.

Swissport had brought in hundreds of temporary workers leading up to the strike, which the company said was to help handle the summer rush. However, Teamsters Canada, the union that represents the workers on strike, said that the temporary workers were there to help break the strike, and had received only three to four days of training, when the usual baggage handler training typically takes three to four weeks.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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