It only took five days to reach an agreement between the Deer Lake Regional Airport and the 15 members of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees Local 90945.
The details of the new contract have not been released, but Wayne Fagan, regional union vice-president said the workers, which include, runway clearing, firefighting and administrative services received “essentially the existing contract” with some monetary gains. Those gains, he said, included such items as clothing allowances, meal allowances and pay raises.
“I think they recognize that labour is a big piece of the marketing of the airport,” said Fagan.
“They’ve known that from the beginning. We’ve never had a strike at that airport and it will continue to grow with the employees.”
Fagan is currently involved in the labour woes at the St. John’s International Airport, where workers with similar positions have been on strike for the past couple of months.
Negotiations ended Wednesday morning in Deer Lake and the contract has already been ratified. Fagan said most of the workers did cast a vote, and he guessed at about a 90 per cent voter turnout rate.
Airport CEO Jamie Schwartz said he was pleased at the results of the negotiations.
“We have worked hard during the life of the previous contract at building and maintaining an excellent relationship with the union and our unionized employees,” he said.
“The results of this are evident today. Both parties recommended this tentative agreement to their principals and the board of directors has now ratified this new contract.”
The airport could little afford labour unrest, with its recent growth rates.
The facility has set records two years in a row for monthly passenger traffic numbers.
Also for the last two years, airport staff have had to increase its parking facilities as it set records for long-term parking last year.
The Western Star