- As a looming New Year's storm threatens to force flight cancellations at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, maintenance workers are threatening to strike if their union can't reach a contract agreement with their employer.
- The strike could begin as soon as New Year's Eve.
Let's hope you're already home from any holiday vacations or aren't planning on taking off on a trip as the new year hits, because the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is going to be a bit of a mess as 2019 comes to an end. Not only is a huge snowstorm headed Montreal's way, already threatening the cancellation of flights, but airport workers have officially given notice of a strike that could begin as soon as December 31, 2019.
According to the Montreal Gazette, a 72-hour strike notice was given to Swissport Canada this past Saturday on behalf of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) who intend to strike this week if a deal is not reached.
Swissport supplies all the fuel for both Montreal airports, the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Dorval (YUL) and the Montréal–Mirabel International Airport, in Mirabel (YMX).
Workers responsible for refuelling, as well as machinists, mechanics, dispatchers, and maintenance staff, have all been "without a contract since last August," the Gazette explains, as negotiations over salaries and work-life balance continue between the union and Swissport.
We reached out to the IAMAW for a statement about the looming strike but they did not respond to our request for comment.
According to The Canadian Press, IAMAW union members "have voted 99 percent in favour of a strike," which would begin at an as-of-yet unspecified time on December 31, 2019.
A press release issued by Swissport explains the company is "surprised and disappointed" by the IAMAW's rejection of a tentative agreement offered this past weekend.
They also insist that "travellers, customers, stakeholders and airport authorities can rest assured" that Swissport is dedicating "every effort to reach an agreement and continue the refuelling service during this busy period."
Without staff to refuel airplanes, it is unclear how air traffic could continue as normal, particularly as Swissport Canada is the only supplier of fuel for planes coming in and out of both Trudeau and Mirabel airports.
Then, of course, we have a storm looming, as well.
Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for the Montreal area, along with several other regions in Southern Quebec early this morning.
Snow is expected to start falling in Montreal this afternoon and continue through the evening, overnight and well into Tuesday.
This could mean significant delays for flights coming in and out of both Montreal airports.
We'll just have to wait and see whether the strike or the storm causes the most trouble come New Year's Eve.
Stay tuned for updates on the strike and the storm here.