Toronto airports' screeners reject contract offer, approve strike mandate: union

FILE PHOTO - Travellers wait in a re-booking line at Pearson International Airport Terminal One in Toronto, January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Aaron Harris

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Screening officers at two Toronto airports on Thursday rejected a three-year contract offer from employer Garda and authorized possible strike action, the International Association of Machinists said in a statement.

The estimated 2,400 officers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Canada’s busiest airport, along with smaller Billy Bishop, have not yet set a specific strike date, added Carlos DaCosta, the union’s air transport coordinator for Canada, by phone.

Privately held Garda acts as a service provider on behalf of the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority (CATSA), a crown corporation which collects fees from the traveling public to provide pre-board security screening for flights, the union said in the statement.

Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Phil Berlowitz