Airline catering staff give 72-hour strike notice at Vancouver International Airport

Catering workers who serve dozens of airlines flying out of Vancouver International Airport have issued a 72-hour strike notice, according to their union.

Unite Here Local 40 says it filed the strike notice on Wednesday, after employees of Gate Gourmet voted 98 per cent in favor of job action.

The workers prepare in-flight meals, assemble them onto trays, load flight attendant trolleys and deliver them to aircraft. If the workers strike, major airlines including Air Canada, Air France and KLM would be affected, according to a news release from the union.

“Airline catering workers have been working day-in and day-out, serving travelers through the pandemic. As tourism came back this year and consumer prices hit 31-year highs, we are overworked and underpaid,” tray assembly worker and union bargaining committee member Kiran Hundal said in the release.

“We’ve attempted to address these issues in good faith with the company, but they continue to propose low wage increases and cuts to our health benefits.”

The release says layoffs during the pandemic caused significant staffing shortages that have yet to be resolved, even though air travel is surging again.

CBC News has reached out to Gate Gourmet for comment.

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