ST. JOHN’S, NL – After four days of unsuccessful talks facilitated by a federal mediator, workers at St. John’s International Airport are backing up their 100% strike mandate. PSAC, the bargaining agent for (UCTE) Local 90916, served the St. John’s International Airport Authority the required 72 hours notice to strike on Friday. Picket lines went up at the airport 5:00am this morning.
“These workers are on strike to ensure there are no concessions related to job security, contracting out of bargaining unit work, their pension and health benefit plan, as well as staffing,” says UCTE Regional Vice-President Wayne Fagan. “This is also a fight to achieve a fair and equitable agreement that reflects the important work they do,”
Workers have not seen a wage increase in four years. They are seeking an increase that would bring their wages in line with comparable international airports and the strong and the healthy economic situation of both the St. John’s region and this employer.
The employer refused to take its concessions off the table.
“Our members know that recruitment and retention is already an issue at the airport,” says Fagan. “These negotiations were an opportunity to deal with that. It’s unfortunate the employer did not rise to the occasion.”
The union advises the traveling public that this strike could disrupt airport operations and access to the airport. The public and all union members will be asked to not cross the picket line. Anyone planning to travel is encouraged to use alternative means of travel.
The 85 members of UCTE local 90916 provide operational services, including runway clearing, buildings and equipment upkeep, fire, security and emergency services, as well as administrative and billing services. Duties outlined in the Essential Services agreement will be carried out as normal.
These employees are proud members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, a national union with over 180,000 members.
Contact Lesley Thompson, Communications Officer, PSAC, 902-471-6201