Musical staff

Airline catering staff give 72-hour strike notice at Vancouver International Airport

People who prepare and deliver in-flight meals for dozens of airlines at Vancouver International Airport have issued 72-hour strike notice. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press – image credit)

Restaurant workers who serve dozens of airlines departing from Vancouver International Airport have issued 72-hour strike notice, according to their union.

Unite Here Local 40 said it filed the strike notice on Wednesday after Gate Gourmet workers voted 98% in favor of strike action.

“I think everyone is aware of the historic inflation we’re seeing in the Lower Mainland, and people are just looking for increases that can keep them in line with the cost of living,” said Unite organizer Mike Biskar. Here Local 40. CBC’s The Early Edition.

“These are not workers who work directly for the airlines. They are hired by the airlines to work for four companies, and these are low-wage jobs.”

He said most people made around $17 an hour, while senior employees made $26 an hour. He said employees are asking for a 6% increase the first year and 4% next year.

“That’s what the union is proposing, and with inflation at 9%, it won’t allow people to keep up,” Biskar said.

Workers prepare in-flight meals, assemble them on trays, load the stewardesses’ carts and deliver them to the plane. If the workers went on strike, major airlines, including Air Canada, Air France and KLM, would be affected, according to a union press release.

“Airline catering workers have worked day in and day out, serving travelers during the pandemic. work and underpaid,” said a tray assembly worker and a union bargaining committee. said member Kiran Hundal in the statement.

“We have attempted to resolve these issues in good faith with the company, but they continue to offer small wage increases and cuts to our health benefits.”

Biskar says employees are asking for a 6% raise

The statement said layoffs during the pandemic have caused major staff shortages that have yet to be resolved, even as air travel increases again.

In a written statement, Gate Gourmet spokesman David Taylor said the company is committed to negotiating a new deal as soon as possible to avoid serious service disruptions.

“Contrary to a public statement made by a union representative, Gate Gourmet is not seeking to make concessions on existing benefits. The company has offered an increase in overall compensation for its employees,” Taylor said.

He added that the union and the company have agreed to continue negotiations in August.