Pearson Strike Looms, Delays Possible

Travellers flying from or connecting through Toronto could be in for delays at Pearson International Airport tomorrow as the union representing baggage handlers is threatening to go on strike.

The union, representing 700 Swissport workers, filed a 72-hour strike notice on Monday.

According to a claim by Teamsters Canada’s Local 419, the union representing Pearson’s regular baggage workers, Swissport – who service nearly half of the airlines using the airport – hired close to 250 untrained temporary workers at Pearson International Airport and is concerned that this may have compromised safety at the airport.

“The untrained temporary workers have already been involved in accidents and injuries,” said Harjinder Badial, vice-president at Local Union 419. “This is more serious than lost luggage.”

Although a contingency plan is in place by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority in the event of a strike or labour disruption by the Swissport workers, travel delays may still occur.

Air Transat, Air France, British Airways and KLM Royal Dutch are among the 30 airlines that could be affected.