Air Canada union blocks entrance to YVR
Members of the Air Canada machinsts' union and recently laid off Aveos employees picket at the Vancouver International Airport. March 19, 2012. (CTV)
Date: Monday Mar. 19, 2012 1:03 PM PT
Dozens of travellers were forced to lug their bags to the Vancouver International Airport on foot Monday to get past a blockade that briefly stopped cars from approaching the terminal.
For about 15 minutes, members of Air Canada's machinists union picketed with recently laid off Aveos employees on the road leading up to the arrivals and departures area.
Aveos, a private company that provides aircraft maintenance for Air Canada, closed its Vancouver plant suddenly on Sunday as it announced 2,400 layoffs across Canada.
A number of irate passengers questioned the workers' methods, arguing they wouldn't curry favour by inconveniencing paying air travellers, but BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair urged them to consider the bigger picture.
"They might have been inconvenienced for one day for whatever reason, but… when [employees] win wage increases, when they win dental plans and pension plans, then it's a better country for all of us," Sinclair said.