No picket lines were formed outside the Victor M. Power Airport in Timmins on March 4th as a strike by the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees was put on hold.

The City of Timmins released a statement on Monday saying it’s disappointed that negotiations with the Public Service Alliance of Canada was unsuccessful, adding that the union intends to take its members on strike.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, said in a statement that they have resumed negotiations with the city for a fair deal for 19 of its members working at the Timmins airport.

“Throughout this process, all we’ve wanted was to get back to the bargaining table,” said UCTE Regional VP for Ontario Martin Mika, “Since we’re finally making some progress, we want to keep the conversation going until we reach a deal.”

The statement by the City of Timmins says the Union is asking for an unreasonable wage increase for the 19 airport workers, which include maintenance and airfield technicians, mechanics, electricians and some administrative personnel.

The City’s statement reads, “PSAC has made claims about the cost of work, clothing and premium pay eroding the wage off of the City. Even after addressing those items in mediation, the PSAC has now decided to ask for a 12.8% wage increase. This salary request is far beyond any settlements the City has had with its other unions and is well in excess of any reasonable cost of living increases.”

Negotiations are expected to continue between the Union and City in the coming days.

In the meantime, both parties are saying that travelers can rest assured that the airport will remain fully operational. The City’s statement adds, “The City of Timmins has plans in place and does not anticipate any significant disruptions to operations. Travelers should anticipate some delays when a picket line is formed, and are encouraged to factor that into their plans.”

You can read the City of Timmins statement here. 

You can read the UCTE statement here. 

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