NEWS

Vancouver airport midnight strike deadline looms

08/29/2013 10:50 EDT | Updated 10/29/2013 05:12 EDT
Over 300 workers at Vancouver International Airport could walk off the job just after midnight tonight if contract talks fail, and other unionized workers will respect their picket lines, the B.C. Federation of Labour says.

The union group warned on Wednesday that air travel into or out of Vancouver could be "chaos" Friday morning if a strike goes ahead.

Neither the Public Service Alliance of Canada nor the Vancouver Airport Authority are speaking with media as last-minute negotiations are underway tonight.

The unionized employees work in areas such as emergency response, international arrivals customer care, passenger loading, runway maintenance and lighting, and administration.

The union issued a 72-hour strike notice Tuesday morning, and warned passengers to contact the airport or airlines and plan for delays and other potential disruptions in the event of job action.

The strike notice came just weeks after 83 per cent of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees' members voted in favour of a strike.

Earlier this month, a union spokesman said flexible shifts and protection from contracting out are two of the main issues at hand.

An airport spokesperson has said repeatedly that the airport will be fully operational this weekend, even if there is a strike, due to essential service maintenance agreements.

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