October 23, 2019

Torontos Pearson Airport could be hit by baggage handlers strike Thursday

TORONTO — Ground crew for 45 airlines at Pearson International Airport could be walking a picket line Thursday, potentially delaying flights.Airlines that would be affected include Canjet, Air Transat, Air France, British Airways and KLM Royal Dutch.The union representing 700 Swissport workers at Pearson filed a 72-hour strike notice on Monday and will ask its members to shoot down the company’s final offer.“We are suggesting that our members reject this offer,” said Christopher Monette, a spokesman for Teamsters Local 419.If this happens, the workers — including baggage and cargo handlers and cabin cleaners — will be able to walk off the job on Thursday night.Monette didn’t give specifics on why the union wants its members to reject Swissport’s final offer, because the union hadn’t yet presented it to its membership.But the Teamsters recently raised issues with the company’s decision to hire 250 temporary workers last May.A statement issued by the Teamsters last week claimed the temporary workers only receive three to four days of training, rather than the three to four weeks afforded to their union counterparts.“We don’t think Swissport can basically do their jobs with workers that have no experience and poor training,” Monette said, adding that the temp workers themselves aren’t to blame.“It’s not their fault. They’re being placed in an impossible situation,” he said.Swissport said that its workers all receive a minimum of 10 days of classroom training, as well as on-the-job instruction.The union also claims that Swissport hired the 250 workers as a way of putting leverage on workers during the current round of contract talks.“We’re concerned that Swissport is willing to sacrifice airport safety to gain an upper hand at the bargaining table,” Harjinder Badial, vice-president of Teamsters Local 419, said in a statement issued last week.Swissport responded that it hired the temporary workers to help handle the summer travel rush, which it said it is allowed to do under the collective agreement.“We are confident that protocols are being followed,” Pierre Payette, Swissport Canada’s vice-president of operation, said in a statement.The Teamsters have filed a formal complaint with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board over the matter.Among its claims are that there hasn’t been a significant change in their members’ workload and that Swissport gave the union a day’s warning before it began hiring the 250 temporary workers.Swissport said it wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the union’s allegations, citing the upcoming CIRB case.Payette has said Swissport “categorically denies” the union’s allegations.“Swissport is fully confident, however, that the CIRB will dismiss these allegations as unsubstantiated and without merit,” he said.Swissport called its final offer to the union fair and competitive, and expressed disappointment that the union may strike.“Regardless of this outcome, we remain open to ongoing negotiations and optimistic that an agreement will be reached with the union,” the company said.Monette says the union’s members don’t want to strike.“Our members are hardworking folks — they want to keep working,” Monette said. “But they’re not going to allow themselves to be bullied by Swissport.” read more

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Sandvik and Downer join forces on service solutions for mining materials handling

first_imgSandvik Mining Systems and Downer EDI have announced a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that will see them offering high-level field service and maintenance solutions for mining materials handling projects around Australia. Under the MOA, these two leading mining services providers say they “will work together to offer the highest levels of field service and maintenance solutions for mining materials handling projects.” The MOA will enable Sandvik to engage Downer to carry out any maintenance work on Sandvik Mining Systems equipment operating on its customer sites, ensuring equipment is safely up and running in the shortest possible time to meet production targets. “We are delighted to be working with Downer to support our customers with a more extensive field service offering,” said Wayne Slight, Global Operations and Maintenance Manager, Sandvik Mining Systems. “This agreement will offer enormous benefits to our customers’ productivity and operations around Australia.”Slight said that with Sandvik’s 150 year legacy, Sandvik had long been recognised as an OEM that provided leading-edge products designed to the highest quality.“However to better service our customers we needed to provide a more extensive field service offering – and this agreement with Downer will enable us to do this,” he said. Paul Gilbert, Bids & Contracts Manager for Downer, said the MOA was a “best-fit” solution for both organisations and their customers. “Downer has an extensive history in the mining and construction industry, and we’ve developed a strong level of product knowledge of Sandvik Mining Systems, and the necessary expertise to maintain them correctly. “This agreement will allow us to carry out full servicing, repairs and maintenance on Sandvik Mining Systems, including working with on-site service crews, to ensure the equipment continues to operate safely, optimally and reliably,” Gilbert said.last_img read more

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