Wildcat strike at Toronto airport prompts delays

Kerri Breen, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

TORONTO -- A wildcat strike by ground crews at Toronto's Pearson International Airport late Thursday night caused flight delays and cancellations in a number of Canadian cities.

As of Friday morning, passengers in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal were feeling the effects of what Air Canada is calling an "illegal job action." About 150 employees staged the wildcat protest.

In Toronto, dozens flights were cancelled Friday morning, including ones to Las Vegas, Kingston, Ont., Pittsburgh and Montreal.

In Ottawa, Air Canada flights to and from London, Ont., Toronto and Montreal were cancelled, while a handful of other flights to Calgary and Atlantic Canada experienced delays.

A handful of flights out of Montreal to locations such as Cancun, Orlando, Vancouver and Fort Laudersale were delayed, while flights to New York City, Toronto, Houston, Ottawa and Labrador were cancelled.

Air Canada has promised to waive fees for anyone who has to change their flight and is encouraging passengers to check AirCanada.com or call 1-888-247-2262 to check the status of their flights.

On Thursday evening, Gerry Rogers, an NDP member of the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature, said passengers on her flight from St. John's, N.L., had to wait an hour after it had landed to leave the plane due to the action. She had been waiting another hour to retrieve her baggage when she spoke to QMI Agency.

She said Conservative MP Tony Clement was also on the flight.

"Take that, Harperite union busters," she said in an online message.

Earlier this month the federal government intervened in Air Canada's contract disputes with pilots and machinists and passed legislation to prevent a lockout or strike.

The airline is also scrambling to replace the services of its in-house maintenance division Aveos, which has obtained bankruptcy protection

— With files from Sheena Goodyear