Union warns of possible disruption to air travelers at Vancouver
International Airport after employer Servisair serves 72 hour lockout notice
for Monday morning July 19 to refueling service supervisors for airlines

VANCOUVER, July 16 /CNW/ - The union for refueling supervisors at Vancouver International Airport is warning that air travelers flying through may face disruption Monday morning because their employer Servisair has served 72-hour lockout notice.

The supervisors, who manage workers who refuel all airlines operating out of Vancouver International Airport, were served lockout notice late Thursday evening, says their union, the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees - a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

This is the second time Servisair has threatened a lockout of workers at YVR this year says Kay Sinclair, Public Service Alliance of Canada BC Regional Executive Vice President, noting that in April refueling workers faced a lockout deadline while contract negotiations continued.

"Servisair is a large multinational airport employer that seems to think bullying its own workers is an acceptable bargaining strategy - even when it potentially threatens the travel plans of tens of thousand of airline customers," Sinclair said. "The Servisair approach to employee relations at a sensitive time at one of Canada's largest airports is deplorable."

Sinclair said the union is committed to continuing negotiation to achieve a first contract for the 21 supervisors and administrative staff without any disruption of service to travelers through Vancouver International Airport if at all possible and has not served 72-hour strike notice despite the Servisair provocation.

"Once again our union is trying hard to negotiate a new contract without any inconvenience to the travelling public but Servisair issuing 72-hour lockout notice can only alarm travelers who intend to fly in or out of Vancouver International Airport next week," Sinclair said.

Sinclair said negotiations are continuing Friday evening with the assistance of a federal conciliation officer and the union remains hopeful that a first contract can be reached.

Key issues are wages, hours of work and other contract conditions. Union members voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action if necessary but Sinclair said strike notice will not be served while both parties are continuing to negotiate.

Employer Servisair is a Paris-based company that provides fuel to Air Canada, WestJet and other airlines at Vancouver International Airport as well as at more than 128 locations worldwide.

SOURCE PUBLIC SERVICE ALLIANCE OF CANADA BC

For further information: For further information: Kay Sinclair, at cell 604-340-4211; Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications at cell 778-896-0964, or 604-844-7827, Website http://www.psacbc.com

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PUBLIC SERVICE ALLIANCE OF CANADA BC

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