The Vancouver International Airport strike notice and back-to-work orders
Vancouver International Airport could face job action by workers as soon as Friday (August 30).
That's according to a news release issued this morning by the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
It and the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees Local 20221 represent approximately 300 Vancouver Airport Authority employees.
In recent years, the Conservative government has been quick to pass legislation forcing striking airline employees to go back to work.
It happened in 2012 with Air Canada pilots, machinists, and ground crews.
In 2011, Air Canada's flight attendants reached a tentative deal shortly after then-labour minister Lisa Raitt threatened to order them back on the job.
But these fiats require the government to pass legislation. And if Vancouver air traffic shuts down because other unions honour airport workers' picket lines, it raises questions how local MPs will get back to Ottawa to vote on any prospective legislation.
If recent history serves as any guide, I don't expect to see many flights cancelled as long as Prime Minister Stephen Harper remains prime minister.
Instead, we'll see a lot of harrumphing in the media from tourism officials, union representatives, and the spokesperson for the airport authority.
And if the government gets to the point of issuing a back-to-work order, the Canadian Labour Congress and the B.C. Federation of Labour will say this is a national outrage.
And their allies in Parliament will filibuster to delay the inevitable passage of legislation.
Then within a couple of months, almost everyone will have forgotten about this except for the workers who were stripped of their primary bargaining chip against management.