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Business in Vancouver

Tentative agreement averts strike at Vancouver airport

In-flight catering workers reach three-year contract with wage hikes

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2016, 3:52am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2016, 10:41am

The union representing in-flight catering workers at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has reached a tentative agreement with employer Gate Gourmet to a three-year contract that includes “fair” wage increases, according to Unite Here Local 40.

One of the union’s beefs during mediation was that its approximately 400 workers had not had a wage increase in three years.

The tentative contract also restores overtime being paid when employees work sixth and seventh days consecutively. It also addresses how workers are treated when they return to work after illness or injury, among other issues.

The union had issued 72-hour strike notice on August 16. The tentative agreement was reached late on August 19.

Workers will hold a ratification vote this week.

Had a strike been called, the disruption would have meant that airlines, such as Air Canada, British Airways and WestJet, would have had to make other arrangements to get food on their planes or fly with no food service.

Gate Gourmet’s workers’ starting wage currently is C$12.29 (US$9.50) per hour. The average wage for those who have worked at the company for five years is about C$19 (US$14.69) per hour and the highest paid workers make about C$22 ($17) per hour.

It was not made public the size of the wage increases that are in the tentative agreement.