Striking maintenance and emergency workers picket the main access road to St. John’s International Airport Thursday. The workers are members of PSAC, the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
— Photo by
Gary Hebbard/The telegram
A picket by striking airport workers stretched through a third day with no progress in contract talks — in fact, no negotiations.
“The way the process works, if the mediator thinks we should go back to the table, he’ll inform us, but he went back a couple of days ago to Fredericton, so there’s no movement that way,” said Wayne Fagan, regional vice-president for the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees local 90916.
But a spokeswoman for the airport said talks can continue any time the union wants.
“We have indicated to them that we are open and available to negotiate at any time,” said Marie Manning, spokeswoman for the St. John’s airport authority.
About 85 workers — who provide operational and maintenance services, including runway clearing, building upkeep and emergency services — hit the picket line Tuesday morning. Workers have been without a collective agreement since 2009 and haven’t had a wage increase in four years. Management says the union’s most recent demand — a 58 per cent increase over four years, front-loaded with a 34 per cent increase in the first year — is unreasonable.