Strike could leave hundreds of flights with no food and drinks at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario


Published April 10, 2024 at 2:09 pm

Potential airline food strike at Pearson Airport in Mississauga.

Passengers on hundreds of daily flights out of Pearson Airport in Mississauga could be taking to the skies next week without in-flight snacks, meals and drinks should workers at a large airline catering company in Toronto go on strike.

In a news release issued yesterday, Teamsters Local Union 647, which represents some 800 workers at Gate Gourmet, said employees there could take strike action as early as next Tuesday.

The workers prepare and deliver meals, snacks, beverages and other supplies for passengers and crew on board hundreds of planes each day that depart Canada’s biggest and busiest airport.

In its news release, the union noted Gate Gourmet is “by far the largest airline catering company operating out of Toronto” and airlines that would be impacted by a strike include the country’s two biggest carriers, Air Canada and WestJet.

Other potentially affected airlines include United Airlines, Delta Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Air India, Aero Mexico, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Canadian carrier Jetlines.

In an email statement to, WestJet spokesperson Julia Kaiser said the airline has a plan to accommodate passengers should there be a strike next week.

“We are aware of the potential labour action being taken by Gate Gourmet,” the statement from WestJet reads. “In preparation, our catering team has proactively prepared contingency plans to mitigate impact to WestJet’s operations in Toronto to ensure we can continue providing food and beverage for our guests onboard our aircraft.”

Air Canada, meanwhile, didn’t say if it had a contingency plan in place, saying in a statement only that “We are aware of this situation, but at this point it is premature to speculate.”

The Teamsters union represents about 3,000 food industry workers across Ontario.

The union said a strike could mean no food and beverages on many flights leaving Pearson Airport later this month.

“We are in a cost-of-living crisis, but Gate Gourmet is ignoring their employees’ families’ basic needs and won’t agree to pay workers a living wage,” lead union negotiator and president of Teamsters Local Union 647 Martin Cerqua said in the news release.

“We’re going on strike unless this company steps up to the plate and finally acknowledges how expensive life has gotten.”

The union insists workers are paid well below industry standards and it’s seeking to close the gap.

Gate Gourmet has also slashed staffing levels since the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a rise in workplace accidents as employees struggle to maintain productivity levels, the Teamsters said.

(Cover photo: Federal Aviation Administration)

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