Agreement reached in dispute that forced flight cancellations at St. John's airport

Passengers prepare for their flights at the airport in St. John's on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Air travel has resumed after being shut down for several days. (HE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

Officials at the St. John's International Airport Authority say they've reached an agreement with the facility's firefighters to end staffing shortages and flight cancellations.

A news release from the authority Thursday evening says days of talks between management and the union representing the airport's firefighters have reached a successful conclusion and normal airport operations will resume.

The parties had been working with a federal mediator to resolve the situation.

The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees has said its members faced harassment, intimidation and a "toxic workplace," which prompted some to take time off on the advice of their doctors.

Many flights were cancelled Tuesday night and into Wednesday when there weren't enough firefighters working to meet regulations, and the facility has since been running on day-by-day agreements to maintain minimum staffing at the fire hall.

A spokeswoman from the airport authority said today management has reached an agreement with the union to ensure the disruptions don't happen again and the airport can return to normal operations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.