May 17th, 2024

Airline caterers go on strike, affecting travellers on flights via Pearson airport

By The Canadian Press on April 16, 2024.

More than 800 airline food service staff at Toronto's Pearson airport have gone on strike, potentially leaving thousands of passengers without meals. Travellers make their way through Pearson International Airport in Toronto Monday, Nov. 14, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

TORONTO – More than 800 airline food service staff at Toronto’s Pearson airport have gone on strike, potentially leaving thousands of passengers without meals.

The union representing employees at Gate Gourmet says they voted 96 per cent against an offer by the Swiss-owned travel catering company on Monday night.

The striking workers cook, package and deliver food and beverages to planes for in-flight service.

Gate Gourmet is the largest airline catering company operating out of Toronto, with clients that include Air Canada, WestJet, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

WestJet says flights operating through Pearson on Boeing 737 planes – the vast majority of its fleet – may experience “an inconsistent food or beverage offering” starting Tuesday.

Martin Cerqua, lead negotiator for the Teamsters Canada local, says Gate Gourmet has fallen short of paying workers a living wage.

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