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Montreal Airport Refuelers on Strike

January 10, 2020

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MONTREAL, QUEBEC—More than 100 workers who refuel the planes at two Montreal airports went on strike Dec. 31, after working under an expired contract since August. Swissport Canada, the airports’ refueling contractor, immediately complained to the federal Canada Industrial Relations Board that their union, the International Association of Machinists, was negotiating in bad faith. The board rejected the company’s demand that the strike is suspended but ordered the union to resume contract talks immediately. Machinists spokesperson Michel Richer told the Canadian Press that the two sides had agreed to meet Jan. 2, but Swissport said Jan. 1 that mediators had asked it to “stand by.” The board also ordered the union to drop demands that were stronger than the provisions in a tentative contract deal members overwhelmingly rejected late last month. “We’re staying on strike for as long as we haven’t signed a contract,” Richer said. Swissport has been using managers from around the country to refuel planes at Montreal-Trudeau International, the city’s main airport, and the Mirabel cargo airfield. Read more

January 10, 2020

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