Toronto Airline Foodservice Staff Threaten Strike

Flight attendant pushing the cart on aisle for serving food and drink to passengers in airplane cabin
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TORONTO — Travellers flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport next week might not receive any snacks or meals during their flight because Teamsters Local Union 647 has announced that more than 800 workers at the airline catering company Gate Gourmet voted nearly 99 per cent in favour of strike action, according to CityNews. The workers are tasked with cooking, packing and delivering meals, snacks, beverages and other supplies to planes for in-flight service.

The union says Gate Gourmet workers in Toronto are paid well below industry standards, in the hourly range of between $17.69 and $20, and wants to close that gap.

“We’re in a cost-of-living crisis, but Gate Gourmet is ignoring their employees’ families’ basic needs and won’t agree to pay workers a living wage,” Martin Cerqua, lead union negotiator and president of Teamsters Local Union 647 told CityNews. “We’re going on strike unless this company steps up to the plate and finally acknowledges how expensive life has [become].”

Airlines affected by the potential strike include Air Canada, West Jet, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Air India, Aero Mexico, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Jetlines. A spokesperson with Teamsters Canada confirmed with CityNews that a walkout would disrupt between 230 and 250 flights daily, equivalent to roughly 25 per cent of daily flights travelling through Toronto Pearson.

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