Canada’s busiest airport is braced for delays after more than 700 ground handlers working for Swissport at Toronto Pearson Airport (YYZ) walked off the job Friday, July 28th, after rejecting a contract offer Thursday night. The ground workers previously filed a strike notice on Monday, July 24th. The strike is expected to impact passenger and cargo operations at the airport, as the workers handle baggage and cargo, tow planes, clean cabins, and perform flight operations tasks for more than 30 airlines.
Notable exceptions to the strike include Air Canada, WestJet, and Emirates, as they either operate their own baggage handling or have other ground handling arrangements. While Swissport does have contingency plans in place to continue ground handling operations, for passengers and cargo, delays are likely.
There will, in all likelihood, be picket lines at entrances to the Vista Building, which typically will hold trucks for a period of time and delay them from entering or departing. Shippers should be advised to prepare for delays, and forwarders might add extra time to normal cutoffs to ensure that export cargo can be delivered within required carrier cut-offs.
In addition, some Asian carriers have announced that they are temporarily suspending cargo services to YYZ. Deringer recommends checking with carriers to determine if they expect cargo to be impacted. For additional information, please contact your Deringer Representative or email Deringer’s Marketing Department.