Baggage handlers' union goes on strike at Canada's busiest airport

Union members of Teamsters Local 419 clench their fists after about 700 baggage handlers and ground crew workers went on strike at Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

TORONTO (Reuters) - About 700 baggage handlers and ground crew workers went on strike at Toronto’s main international airport, Canada’s biggest and busiest hub, after rejecting a new contract offer, the union said on Thursday.

The workers, who service carriers including Air France, British Airways and holiday charters such as Sunwing airlines, work for aviation services firm Swissport and are represented by the Teamsters Canada union.

Union spokesman Christopher Monette said 95 percent of members had voted in favor of a strike.

Among outstanding issues, the Teamsters accuse Swissport of using untrained temporary workers, a charge the company denies.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority, which operates Pearson, and the affected carriers have said they have contingency plans to deal with a strike, but have not provided details.

Writing by Amran Abocar; Editing by Clarence Fernandez