After a frustrating day of talks facilitated by a federal mediator, the bargaining agent for the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) Local 90916 served the St. John’s International Airport Authority 72 hours notice of strike action at 5:26pm Friday. Members are prepared to set up picket lines at 5:00am, Tuesday, September 11.
“The employer’s intransigence at the table gives us no choice,” says UCTE Regional Vice-President Wayne Fagan. “We have a mandate from our members to achieve a fair and equitable agreement that contains no concessions.”
Workers have not seen a wage increase in four years and are seeking an economic package that will bring them in line with industry standards at comparable international airports. The employer still has significant concessions on the table. Members of UCTE Local 90916 voted 100% in favour of strike action at a meeting Thursday evening. The union has been without a collective agreement since 2009.
“We remain ready and willing to negotiate, and hope to reach agreement before Tuesday morning,” says Fagan.
The 90 members of UCTE local 90916 provide operational and maintenance services, including runway clearing, building and equipment upkeep, and fire, security and emergency services.