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A message to the customers and stakeholders of Swissport Canada Inc.

Provided by Swissport Canada Inc/CNW

The following is a statement from Louis-Philippe Charland, Vice-President, Human Resources, Swissport Canada:

MONTREAL, Dec. 21, 2019 /CNW/ – With the Holiday season in full swing, Swissport Canada Inc. wants to reassure its customers, stakeholders and travelers transiting by YUL that it has reached a tentative agreement with the union representing Swissport Fuel employees (IAM Lodge 140) at YUL (Montreal) & YMX (Mirabel) Airports. Both parties reached this agreement following an intense round of negotiations and have agreed that there will be no labour action or disruption until the union presents the agreement to its members for a vote. The union will unanimously recommend this offer and we are optimistic that it will be ratified by the employees. We want to thank the union leadership for its dedication to pursuing negotiations during this busy period, to reach a satisfying agreement that will avoid any disruption to the travelers, stakeholders and costumers.

SOURCE Swissport Canada Inc.

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Swissport Canada's reaction following the rejection of tentative agreement by employees

Provided by Swissport Canada Inc/CNW

MONTREAL, Dec. 27, 2019 /CNW/ – We are surprised and disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote since we have answered the great majority of the union demands. The proposal was fair and included significant improvements in total compensation and work conditions. We want to reiterate our commitment to pursuing our activities. Travelers, customers, stakeholders and airport authorities can rest assured that our team will dedicate every effort to reach an agreement and continue the refueling service during this busy period as we go back to the negotiation table.

SOURCE Swissport Canada Inc.

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Montreal airport refuelling workers poised to strike as early as Tuesday

News provided by the Montreal Gazette – link to full story and updates

Strikes could begin as soon as Dec. 31 at Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau and Mirabel airports and significantly curtail air travel in Montreal.

FRÉDÉRIC TOMESCO, Montreal Gazette, December 28, 2019

amc11-0629-airport-13.jpg?quality=80&str A ground crew worker fuels a jet at Montreal’s Trudeau airport. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES

Workers who refuel aircraft flying out of Montreal’s Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau and Mirabel airports are planning to walk off the job by New Year’s Day if they can’t reach a deal with their employer.

A 72-hour strike notice was officially given to Swissport Canada Saturday, Guillaume Valois, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said in a telephone interview. This means that a strike could begin as soon as Dec. 31, at an as-of-yet unspecified time.

Negotiations between the parties are set to resume Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in downtown Montreal, under the supervision of a government mediator.

Ninety per cent of Swissport’s unionized workers rejected a tentative deal Friday night that had been put to a vote by their union, opening the possibility of a strike that could significantly curtail air travel in Montreal. They had originally threatened to go on strike on Christmas Day, but the contract offer postponed any walkout until New Year’s Day at the earliest.

Swissport is the lone fuel supplier for aircraft at both airports. The employees affected by the contract include refuelling personnel, machinists, mechanics dispatchers and maintenance staff.

The workers have been without a contract since last August. Salaries and improved work-life balance are among the main issues to be settled in the negotiations.

“They want their work conditions to reflect the level of responsibility and the risks they are exposed to day after day,” union executive Peter Tsoukalas said in an e-mailed statement. “They want to be able to do their jobs safely, have a decent income, job security and the respect of their employer. Right now, they are convinced that the only way to get that is through a strike.”

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Could it be that this has something to do with it?

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/26/airline-labor-unions-for-pilots-flight-attendants-want-raises-in-2020.html

US airlines are set for a 10th year of profits. More than 120,000 employees want a raise

 

U.S. airlines are headed for their 10th consecutive year of profitability and their employees, from pilots to catering workers, are demanding higher wages and better benefits.

Next year, major U.S. carriers will be negotiating labor agreements with more than 120,000 unionized employees, a process that is set to add to their expenses. American will be negotiating with most of its unionized workforce, including pilots, flight attendants and maintenance workers.

 

Labor costs are airlines’ biggest expense and they have become a larger portion of overall costs. Last year, labor costs ate up 28% of U.S. airlines’ $187 billion in revenue, up from a 21% share in 2008, as airlines hired more workers and compensation rose, according to data from trade group Airlines for America.

“There are simply more funds to get and workers are cognizant they’re turning out more value,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents some 50,000 cabin crew members at 20 airlines including United. The AFA recently launched a campaign to unionize flight attendants at Delta, whose cabin crews do not belong to a union, an outlier among the big four U.S. carriers.

CH 20191226_airline_revenue_labor_costs_final.png
 
 

A decade ago, U.S. airlines were struggling through a wave of bankruptcies and subsequent megamergers that left four carriers in control of about three-quarters of the market. But profits peaked in the middle of the decade and analysts expect net income at the four biggest U.S. airlines to grow less than 1% from this year to $12.44 billion.

“When the airlines are making money, it’s hard to deny the increase” in compensation, said Kit Darby, a consultant who tracks pilot pay. “Everybody tries to get a good contract when times are good. If it’s a short downturn, they hold on to what they got.”

Airline workers in recent months have staged protests at airports and elsewhere, demanding pay increases, more predictable schedules and better working conditions. Workers in other industries including hospitality, auto manufacturing and grocery stores have echoed their worries this year after U.S. corporate profits rose over the last decade, prompting them to demand a larger cut.

 

“The rubber band has been stretched so far,” said Nelson.

Tense discussions

Labor talks with some airline employees have turned tense in recent years. Executives at Southwest early this year and American over the summer blamed the unions representing their mechanics for purposefully slowing down work to gain leverage in yearslong contract talks, causing operational problems that led to the cancellation or delay of thousands of flights. The unions have denied the allegations.

“There’s a potential for more labor discord here in the U.S.,” said Savi Syth, an airline analyst at Raymond James, adding that the industry is more stable now than a decade or more ago. “Labor has to buy in that this is a different industry.”

Southwest reached an agreement with its mechanics in March that was overwhelmingly approved two months later, ending more than six years of talks. The five-year contract included $160 million in back pay and a 20% increase in wages.

Southwest’s talks with flight attendants will continue into next year, while it also holds talks with pilots, customer service agents and dispatchers. The Dallas-based carrier’s pilots and flight attendants are worried about the prolonged grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, which the unions say has cost employees more than $100 million in wages. Southwest’s flight attendant union last week asked the company to suspend hiring while the plane is grounded.

Earlier this month, Southwest said it reached an agreement with Boeing over the 737 Max grounding and said it would share $125 million with employees. The carrier said on a third-quarter earnings call that it had lost $435 million in revenue in the first nine months of the year because of the Max’s grounding. The president of American Airlines’ pilots union told CNBC he wants the airline to similarly share with pilots a portion of American’s eventual compensation from Boeing.

For its part, American continues to negotiate with the unions representing its mechanics. American sued the maintenance workers’ unions in May over the travel disruptions and won an injunction against them in August, prohibiting the group from interfering with the airlines’ operations.

“Since August, teams for the company and the union have met for multiple days nearly every week,” said American Airlines spokesman Josh Freed, adding that the two groups have “made considerable progress” this month. The next round of talks is scheduled for Jan. 13-14.

Difficult to strike

Unionized airline workers’ contracts have amendable dates, and airlines have passed or are close to passing that point for several groups. But their contracts don’t expire. They continue to be valid but once the amendable date passes, negotiated raises no longer take effect, union officials said.

It is also extremely difficult for airline workers to strike under the Railway Labor Act. When talks break down, federal mediators step in and the workers essentially need to be permitted to strike. The last commercial airline pilot strike in the United States was by Spirit Airlines pilots in 2010.

More than just pay

Workers aren’t just seeking additional pay. Mechanics at American are seeking to limit outsourcing of their jobs to foreign bases. Pilots at American Airlines for example, have said that they are looking for a better quality of life through improved scheduling that includes fewer pilots on reserve — which requires pilots to be on call — and the ability to more easily change the trips they fly.

“Scheduling is our No. 1 issue,” said Allied Pilots Association President Eric Ferguson, an Airbus A320 captain. The union, which represents American Airlines’ pilots, is also asking for higher pay for flying less-desirable trips and for easier ways to make those routes available to pilots. That change would incentivize pilots to pick up those trips and ease operational problems, helping preserve revenue and profits that are then shared with employees, the union contends.

“I’m not just saying pay us more,” Ferguson said. “I’m saying fix the problems.”

The some 15,000 pilots represented by APA started early talks this year, but the contract becomes amendable at the start of 2020. The union is proposing a three-year deal with 16% raises over that period, while the company has pitched a five-year deal with the same pay increases over that time, according to APA. The company had aimed to get a deal done before then.

“Shame on us if we can’t figure out over the course of a year how to get a contract done before the amendable date,” American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said at a town hall with pilots in June 2018, ahead of early talks.

Pilots at Delta, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, are also seeking better quality of life, in addition to pay increases in contract talks that began in April.

Delta pilots won a 16% raise in 2016, a 3% rise in 2017 and 2018 and a 4% increase in 2019. But the pay still falls short compared with inflation-adjusted wages pre-bankruptcy, the union said.

Those pilots complained after working record overtime in the summer as the Atlanta-based airline expanded its flight schedule to meet customer demand after rivals that flew the Boeing 737 Max cut thousands of flights over the peak travel period of the year. Delta is one of the few U.S. carriers that doesn’t fly the troubled jetliner, which the FAA grounded in March after two crashes — one in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia — killed 346 people.

“We’re glad to share in the success that Delta has had,” said Chris Riggins, a spokesman for the Delta pilots union and a first officer. “Now that they’re doing well and we’re all contributing to their success ... we’re looking to get some of that quality of life.”

The pilots are also seeking to protect their own jobs as Delta pursues more partnerships with other airlines that allow them to sell tickets while pilots from other airlines fly the routes, and vice versa.

“Delta remains committed to ensuring our pilots have a strong contract that provides meaningful improvements and the best total compensation package among our competitors while also allowing Delta to continue to compete globally,” said Delta spokesman Michael Thomas.

Airline workers in their next round of negotiations are also seeking to improve their sick leave and working conditions, ensuring employees aren’t spread too thin.

Hiring ramping up

The talks are coming as airlines are racing to hire new employees in a tight labor market to keep up with strong travel demand. The federally mandated pilot retirement age of 65 has prompted airlines to beef up their recruitment programs over the past two years.

United, for example, in October said it launched a program that includes conditional job offers to trainee pilots to help fill its needs for 10,000 pilots over the next decade. The company is in talks with its pilots this year. American in 2018 unveiled a cadet program that will help place trainees with the company’s smaller regional airlines and make student loans available.

In July 2018, Delta said it would give nonpilot employees unpaid leave to train to help it add 8,000 pilots by 2028.

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So we are heading into a few years of tears as big as horse turds, and airlines losing money. 

 Sign a 10 year no raises contract,  new hires get fact, and your company will suddenly be hugely profitable! 

 It is like a broken record. 

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My nephew just left AC to work in a factory for significantly more money.  AC needs to step up their compensation game if they want to actually keep people.

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The amount airlines pay is not worth working as a front line employee as the general public has become too difficult unless you enjoy having an disagreement with 95% of all air travellers. 

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in YYZ the staffing levels on the ramp hover around 35% under requirements.  Training classes for the ramp have about half of the trainees hand in their pass before the end of training.  Working conditions do no support the pay.  McDonalds pays better and the work is easier.  That in itself hovers around pathetic.

30 years ago working on the ramp was a pretty good job.  it paid ok and was enjoyable.  Things have changed in that the pay is not significantly more than it was 30 years ago even though the cost of living has skyrocketed in that time. especially in YYZ and YVR

Its a shame thee airlines and service companies don't get it that paying a decent wage will get better retention and reduce training costs.

 

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On 12/29/2019 at 7:49 PM, boestar said:

  AC needs to step up their compensation game if they want to actually keep people.

Then HOW would AC show those juicy profit$$ every year, got to keep the shareholders ha$$y 😉

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3 hours ago, Kasey said:

Then HOW would AC show those juicy profit$$ every year, got to keep the shareholders ha$$y 😉

Employees at airline fuel supplier for Trudeau Airport walk off the job

News provided by CTV News – link to full story and updates

Rachel Lau Digital reporter, CTV News Montreal, December 31, 2019

Watch: Link to video

MONTREAL — Workers in charge of refuelling planes at both Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Mirabel Airport walked off the job at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

This comes after they rejected a deal presented by their union last week, with a vote of 90 per cent.

The move presents the possibility of a strike – with 99 per cent of members voting in favour of action – that could ground planes and stall air travel in Montreal for New Year’s.

“What we want is an employment contract that respects the workers. It’s disappointing to have to go on strike to make the employer understand that,” said union executive Peter Tsoukalas. “Our attitude has not change. Our intention is to reach a win-win agreement… We were disappointed to see the employer mobilize its resources to try to invalidate our right to strike.”

Last Friday, the company said it was “surprised and disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote since we have answered the great majority of the union demands.”

Swissport Canada Inc. officials insist the “proposal was fair and included significant improvements in total compensation and work conditions.”

It adds that it will work to make sure planes remain fuelled during the busy holiday season “as we go back to the negotiation table.”

Trudeau airport officials say they are working with Swissport “to rapidly deploy its contingency plan, including providing managers with access to restricted zones so that they can ensure the continuation of aircraft refuelling activities.”

Officials note they are monitoring the situation, but the dispute could result in flight delays.

The contract for unionized workers, including aircraft refuellers, mechanics, dispatchers and maintenance employees, ended last August.

They say their main concerns are wages and work-life balance.

image.jpg
Workers in charge of refuelling planes at both Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport and Mirabel Airport walked off the job. (Elizabeth Zogalis/CJAD)

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After Swissport took over from Cafas, the salaries of all the employees who opted to transfer were cut to somewhere around 15$/hour. The employees who did not transfer lost their jobs...

This strike is all on Swissport... Pay your employees a decent wage and maybe the turnover will drop.😠

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Swissport Reaction to CIRB ruling and update on airport activities

Provided by Swissport Canada Inc./CNW

MONTREAL, Dec. 31, 2019 /CNW/ – Swissport is acknowledging the Canada Industrial Relations Board ruling and welcomes the conclusion of Vice-President Louise Fecteau that the union did not meet its obligation to bargain in good faith. In its ruling the Board ordered the union to withdraw its December 29th last proposal and to return to negotiations immediately based on the December 21th agreement in principle duly signed and recommended by the union. Therefore, Swissport invites the union to respect the ruling and to propose a meeting as soon as possible.

Our team has taken over the fueling activities since 11 a.m. today without any delay or incident.

SOURCE Swissport Canada Inc.

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Ramp jobs, whether fueling or aircraft handling, are tough jobs. It’s either too cold or too hot, aircraft are on tight turns, pressure, and it’s a very hostile (read dangerous) environment.....certainly worth more than  $15/hr. I’ve done enough walk around to observe the working conditions. And record profits should reflect compensation for employees. 

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3 hours ago, st27 said:

Ramp jobs, whether fueling or aircraft handling, are tough jobs. It’s either too cold or too hot, aircraft are on tight turns, pressure, and it’s a very hostile (read dangerous) environment.....certainly worth more than  $15/hr. I’ve done enough walk around to observe the working conditions. And record profits should reflect compensation for employees. 

So is Swissport showing record profits, in Canada? How about elsewhere, how are those employees on the wage scale?  RE Canada, it appears they only dorefueling in YUL and YVR, how doe the wages compare.  The topic has drifted to Ramp staff and I suspect the fuelers are on a different scale or are they?

 

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Swissport can only afford to pay what their airline customers are willing to absorb, and these days, that isn’t much. They’re always pushing service providers to do more with less, hence the reason it typically takes Menzies over 30 minutes to deliver checked bags to Westjet customers in YYZ. 

Edited by J.O.

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Montreal plane refuellers, employer to resume negotiations starting Thursday

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS
Posted January 1, 2020 11:27 am
Swissport employees protest near Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal, Tuesday, December 31, 2019. About 108 workers who are responsible for refuelling planes walked off the job on Tuesday morning after they were unable to reach an agreement with Swissport. . Swissport employees protest near Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal, Tuesday, December 31, 2019. About 108 workers who are responsible for refuelling planes walked off the job on Tuesday morning after they were unable to reach an agreement with Swissport. . Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press
 

Swissport Canada and the union representing employees who refuel the planes at two Montreal airports will return to the negotiating table tomorrow morning, with workers set to spend a second straight day on the picket lines.

Union spokesman Michel Richer says the two sides have agreed to meet Thursday beginning at 10 a.m.

Roughly 100 employees with Swissport Canada, the only supplier of fuel for airlines operating out of Montreal’s cargo airfield in Mirabel and the city’s main airport, Montreal-Trudeau International, walked off the job around 11 a.m. yesterday, several days after having voted to reject a tentative contract deal.

READ MORE: Labour board orders union back to table as Montreal airport refuellers’ strike continues

Later Tuesday, the Canada Industrial Relations Board allowed workers to maintain their strike, but ordered their union immediately back to the negotiating table.

Swissport Canada says it is eager to reach an agreement, and has been maintaining fuelling service at the airport with a team of trained managers from around the country.

Richer says that strikers will return to the picket lines for a demonstration at Trudeau airport this afternoon at 2 p.m.

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Companies like swissport are the lowest bidder.  meaning they short change their employees to get a contract.  Totally not cool.

People will not stick around for minimum wage.  The turnaround numbers prove it.  As the the total number of hirees that do not stick around even to complete the training.

it is a demanding job as mentioned above.  Heavy lifting, harsh conditions, noise and pressure.  I did it out of high school at AC for $9.10 /hr  It really hasn't gone up much in 30+ years.  The other issue is the progression rate.  Miniimum wage for what 4 years or more.

 

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16 minutes ago, boestar said:

Companies like swissport are the lowest bidder.  meaning they short change their employees to get a contract.  Totally not cool.

People will not stick around for minimum wage.  The turnaround numbers prove it.  As the the total number of hirees that do not stick around even to complete the training.

it is a demanding job as mentioned above.  Heavy lifting, harsh conditions, noise and pressure.  I did it out of high school at AC for $9.10 /hr  It really hasn't gone up much in 30+ years.  The other issue is the progression rate.  Miniimum wage for what 4 years or more.

 

You have to wonder why?   Surely if the Local Hamburger joints are paying more and providing climate controlled work places, why would anyone hire on to work the ramp or fuel aircraft? Perhaps lured in by the glamour?  Then reality strikes and then off to job action they go.  Maybe things would be better, as in the case of entry level pilots (who could do the same) , one simply did not apply for the job and instead took one that resulted in more $$$$$.  image.jpeg.c40a169f3163a7cc5dc677e885209499.jpeg

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Federal mediator meeting with Swissport in bid to end Montreal refuelling strike

News provided by The Globe and Mail – link to full story and updates

THE CANADIAN PRESS – JANUARY 3, 2020

C35U2E3AKZF5XMJA2GFHZQMV3U.jpg Swissport employees protest outside Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal, on Dec. 31, 2019. A federal mediator is meeting with Swissport Canada a day after discussing a strike with the union representing employees who refuel planes at two Montreal airports.GRAHAM HUGHES/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A federal mediator is meeting with Swissport Canada a day after discussing a strike with the union representing employees who refuel planes at two Montreal airports.

The labour disruption by roughly 100 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers began Dec. 31.

Despite the strike, Swissport Fueling Services says it is maintaining refuelling services without delays.

The striking union workers are aircraft refuellers, mechanics, dispatchers and maintenance workers of fuel storage facilities.

Salaries and work-life balance are the main points of contention between Swissport and its Montreal-area workers, who have been without a contract since August.

Swissport said on Thursday that the strike would “definitely not” end before the weekend.

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