Montreal Airport Workers Are Officially On Strike & Flights Might Be Delayed

Aéroports de Montréal's press release states "the dispute could result in delays in flight schedules."
Montreal Airport Workers Are Officially On Strike & Flights Might Be Delayed
  • Anyone travelling through the Montreal Trudeau airport in the near future may experience flight delays due to disputes between some IAMAW workers and their employer, Swissport Canada. 
  • The workers' strike began at 11 a.m. today, on New Year's Eve.
  • Read Aéroports de Montréal's statement about the strike below.

More news on the impending airport workers strike that will likely impact anyone trying to take off on a vacation or make their way home using the Montreal Trudeau airport has been released. Workers part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) presented a 72-hour strike notice to their employer, Swissport Canada this past weekend. Swissport is responsible for refuelling planes at both of Montreal's Trudeau (YUL) and Mirabel (YMX) airports.

Workers responsible for refuelling, as well as machinists, mechanics, dispatchers, and maintenance staff, have all been without a contract since last August.

The current negotiations are centred around salaries and work-life balance, with the unionized employees of Swissport turning down a tentative agreement proposed by the company this past weekend.

We reached out to Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) to better understand how this strike will impact flights leaving Montreal, considering that Swissport is the sole organization responsible for refuelling planes at Trudeau and Mirabel airports. Although we have not received a response yet, Aéroports de Montréal has released a statement about the strike.

The statement from Aéroports de Montréal reads "ADM would like to reassure passengers that operations are continuing at the airport, but that the dispute could result in delays in flight schedules. Travellers are advised, as always, to check the status of their flight before coming to the airport."

The organization assured that the situation is being monitored 24 hours a day.

Upon learning that union members had turned down the tentative agreement put forth by Swissport, ADM issued a statement explaining that they were "disappointed" that negotiations had deteriorated. 

The IAMAW did not respond to MTL Blog's request for comment on the situation. However, the tweet above indicates the union's intention to strike starting on December 31, 2020, at 11 a.m.

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Swissport's response also expressed the company was "surprised and disappointed with the outcome" of the vote, as it felt the proposal was "fair and included significant improvements in total compensation and work conditions." 

In a statement shared by the CBC, Swissport explained that it has already "activated its contingency plan in anticipation of an employee strike" which it hopes will "limit disruption to passengers."

The ADM noted in their press release that "should a strike be launched, ADM will work closely with Swissport Fuelling to ensure that its contingency plan, developed in conjunction with airlines, is quickly implemented.

Swissport Fuelling has repeatedly affirmed that it has the necessary resources to continue aircraft refuelling operations at YUL and to deal with any eventuality."

According to the Montreal Gazette, this contingency plan includes redeploying Swissport management "to ensure certain services are maintained."