„We did our best to reach an acceptable agreement with the company. Swissport was simply not interested,” said Harjinder Badial, vice president of Teamsters Local 419, in a press release. Read: Rio Tinto, B.C. Workers prevent strike with provisional agreement Toronto, October 11, 2017 – Teamsters Local Union 419 and Swissport reached a tentative agreement on the night of Tuesday, October 10. The agreement must now be ratified by members at the trade union meeting on Sunday, October 15. UPDATE: October 15, Teamsters Local 419 ratifies their preliminary agreement with the employer. Find out more here. After 11 weeks on the picket lines, 700 baggage handlers and other ground crews at Toronto Pearson International Airport ended their strike against Swissport last month. The workers represented by the Teamsters Canada union only ratified the proposed contract at 63 per cent, citing widespread dissatisfaction with the union`s agreement with the transnational company. When WSWS reporters contacted Teamsters` local and national offices for details of the collective agreement, they either received the runaround or were generally informed that the union does not make this information public. The only „concession” that the employees have earned from the company is that the contract lasts three years and not the one originally demanded by Swissport. Throughout the strike, the union bureaucracy kept workers in the dark about their negotiations with Swissport, while doing everything in its power to limit the fight to the most restrictive framework of collective bargaining. „We are certainly open to a meeting with the company, headquarters and the negotiation of a collective agreement, but at the end of the day we will wait.” The last collective agreement expired on July 23, 2017.
The union`s bargaining committee recommends that members accept the agreement. The strike will continue until the interim agreement is formally ratified. Out of respect for its members, the union will not disclose the details of the preliminary agreement to the public until members have had the opportunity to verify it first.