I write today to give you an update on negotiations with our Swissport bargaining unit at Vancouver International Airport.
Approximately 80 members of PSAC/UCTE Local 20221 employed by Swissport International Inc. work at YVR, refuelling aircraft and providing associated services. These members have been without a collective agreement since October 2018. The main issue that needs to be addressed in this round of bargaining is the employer’s increasing reliance on part-time workers.
After the first bargaining meeting in April 2019, Swissport International – a multi-billion-dollar corporation headquartered in Europe – showed little interest in negotiating a fair collective agreement and immediately declared impasse.
A conciliation officer was appointed in April and both parties met in early May. Despite a willingness on the bargaining team’s part to have a productive meeting, the employer came to the table unprepared. Since then members of the Local have taken a strike vote and given PSAC a strike mandate.
The conciliation period is scheduled to end today and, should an agreement not be reached, it is possible that a strike or lockout could take place at Vancouver International Airport, starting as early as July 3, 2019.
Please keep this in mind as you plan your union travel over the summer. Taking strike action is always a last resort. However, the possibility that PSAC members at Vancouver airport will be on strike or locked out within the near future is real. If this comes to pass, air travel in and out of YVR will constitute crossing a picket line.
Meetings with the employer and a federal mediator have been confirmed for June 21-23 and I will keep you up to date as the process moves forward.
In the interim, you can help avert a strike or lockout at YVR by sending an email or letter to Mike Matheson, Manager Fuel Services - Swissport Fuel Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org), with a CC to Craig Richmond, CEO YVR (Craig.Richmond@yvr.ca) and Jamey Mills, PSAC Regional Executive Vice President BC (MillsJ@psac-afpc.com) calling on Swissport Fuel Services to come to the bargaining table on June 21 prepared to negotiate a fair collective agreement.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact my office.
Public Service Alliance of Canada