Porter FBO workers go on strike

Washington DC
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Twenty-two Porter Airlines employees who fuel aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport are on strike today after failing to reach a labour agreement with the airline's management, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE) confirms.

The union has called the strike after being unable to agree on wage increases with Porter.

The Toronto-based airline is offering half of the 22 employees an increase of C$0.25 ($0.25) per hour, and the remaining 11 would not see a pay increase, a release from COPE says. The average annual income of these striking workers is C$28,000 ($28,000).

Porter says it benchmarks wages and benefits against both aviation and non-aviation companies and paid profit sharing to each team member in 2011.

The union is concerned that replacement workers being hired would not have the skills to ensure the public's safety, a release from COPE states.

No flights or tenants at Porter FBO Limited's office space will be affected by the strike, Porter says. It adds that it has fully-trained staff to perform the duties of the striking workers.

"Porter FBO Limited is committed to negotiating a fair contract with our team members," says the airline in a release. "We're disappointed that the union has chosen to walk away from the bargaining table and go on strike at the first opportunity, rather than focus its energy on negotiating a first contract for employees."