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Trudeau airport warns of delays as refuelling personnel go on strike – Montreal Gazette



Tuesday’s strike comes after the unionized personnel at Montreal’s airports overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from management.

Unionized workers from Swissport Fuelling picket outside Trudeau airport in Dorval after declaring a strike Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.

John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette

Aeroports de Montréal (ADM) warned passengers to check their flight status before heading to Montreal-Trudeau airport and to expect possible delays as unionized refuelling personnel launched a strike at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

“Passengers at YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport find themselves, through no fault of their own, in the midst of a labour dispute between Swissport Fuelling and its employees responsible for refuelling aircrafts,” the agency said in a communiqué posted minutes after the walkout began.

“Since the announcement of a strike, ADM has spared no effort to enable Swissport Fuelling to rapidly deploy its contingency plan, including providing managers with access to restricted zones so that they can ensure the continuation of aircraft refuelling activities at YUL.”

Tuesday’s strike comes after the unionized personnel overwhelmingly rejected an offer from management made last week. Salaries and work-life balance are major issues in negotiations, which have been going on since the spring.

“In recent years, there has been a deterioration in working conditions, this deterioration is accompanied by an increase in responsibilities, workload and the risk of accidents,” wrote union spokesperson Guillaume Valois, in a statement published Sunday.

“For example, whether in temperatures of minus 30 or plus 30, in a snowstorm or a thunderstorm, the people who refuel the planes in Montreal-Trudeau have to handle heavy equipment alone and deliver tons of fuel in a noisy, stressful and dangerous environment, all for a salary of about $16 an hour.”

Michael Corrado, a union leader with International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, says conditions are slipping in part because the airlines keep hiring new companies to handle refuelling. Before Swissport took over refuelling at at Trudeau and Mirabel airports, the contract belonged to a Cafas fuelling.

What happens, he says, is workers are laid off, they lose their seniority and all of the benefits that come with it when they have to apply for the same job at a new company.

“It’s contract flipping and it’s done to keep costs down. But it comes at a price,” said Corrado, who is based in Toronto. “You’re seeing fuelling trucks crash into each other, you’re seeing workers pushed to the brink and it’s unrealistic to expect them to keep taking it.”

The unionized personnel on strike include refuelling teams, machinists, mechanics, dispatchers and maintenance workers. Swissport and its workers reached an agreement in principal on Dec. 21, but the deal was subsequently rejected by union rank and file.

Last Friday, the refuelling company filed a complaint with the Canada Industrial Relations Board, arguing union leadership isn’t negotiating in good faith. The board sided with Swissport and ordered them to resume negotiations based on the Dec. 21 deal.

That proposal addressed “almost every demand” sought by workers, according to a statement from Nathalie Bergeron, a spokesperson for Swissport.

“Whether long-tenured employees or new hires, we believe in treating all employees fairly and with respect,” she said. “Our proposal included compensation increases for all employees that met the majority of the union’s demands.”

As workers picket outside the airport, management at Swissport has been trained to do refuelling work and other tasks in the interim.

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Quibi app to shut down – Entertainment News –



Movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile streaming service, Quibi, is shutting down, six months after it launched with original series and films featuring Anna Kendrick and Sophie Turner.

Katzenberg and his partner Meg Whitman are expected to confirm their decision to wind down the short-form video service this week after speaking with investors, according to Deadline.

The service launched in April just after COVID-19 shut down Hollywood.

Initial pay-to-view items on the service included projects directed by heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, and Antoine Fuqua, while Kendrick’s series Dummy and Kiefer Sutherland’s remake of The Fugitive became quick hits. The service also produced the Emmy-winning series #FreeRayshawn.

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Quibi is shutting down just six months after launching – MobileSyrup



Surprise: Quibi is dead.

Quibi, a short form mobile-focused video streaming service that struggled to find an audience amid a global pandemic where many people are working from home, is shutting down, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Given the platform was available for only six months, this makes it one of the shortest-lived streaming services ever.

Several factors likely played into Quibi’s untimely demise, including that a mobile-focused streaming service doesn’t make sense when people are home, that none of its content was really compelling enough to attract returning subscribers, and the fact that you can watch short-form video content on platforms like YouTube and TikTok entirely for free.

It’s unclear what will happen to Quibi’s lineup of celebrity-filled content. The Information initially reported co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is also the former Walt Disney Studios chairman, attempted to sell Quibi’s content to Facebook and NBCUniversal, but ultimately failed.

Quibi launched in Canada on April 6th for $6.99 per month for a subscription tier that featured ads and $9.99 per month to remove ads. The platform forged a partnership with Bell that included exclusive sports and news content from CTV News and TSN. Bell’s Quibi initiatives will likely be cancelled entirely. MobileSyrup has reached out to Bell for more information.

It’s also worth noting the report of Quibi’s shutdown comes just two days after Bell Media president Randy Lennox announced that he’s departing the company. Lennox was reportedly the driving force behind Bell’s investment in Quibi.

Quibi allowed viewers to watch content in both landscape and portrait mode. While the platform was initially off to a strong start, it struggled to keep subscribers around after it’s free trial ended. Some reports indicated that Quibi lost 92 percent of its early users following the end of the platform’s free trial.

The service eventually launched apps for Apple TV, Android TV and Apple TV, moving beyond its mobile-focused Android and iOS apps.

Notable content included Let’s Roll with Tony Greenhand, a show about a man that rolls ornate marijuana spliffs for celebrities, Bad Ideas with Adam Devine, 50 States of Fright, Chrissy’s Court with Chrissy Teigen and several more.

For a complete list of Quibi’s content, follow this link.

It remains unclear when Quibi will remain operational until or what will happen to users that have paid a subscription fee. MobileSyrup has reached out for more information from Quibi.

Update 10/21/2020 6:43pm: Quibi has confirmed that it’s shutting down in a press release. It says that “following the company’s wind down and satisfaction of all liabilities, the remaining funds will be returned to its investors as specified in the company’s operating agreement. ”

“We have assembled a world-class creative and engineering team that has created an original platform fueled by groundbreaking technology and IP, enabling consumers to view premium content in a whole new way. The world has changed dramatically since Quibi launched and our standalone business model is no longer viable. I am deeply grateful to our employees, investors, talent, studio partners and advertisers for their partnership in bringing Quibi to millions of mobile devices,” said Katzenberg in the press release.

Quibi says that it’s working with “legal and financial advisors” to “identify a suitable buyer or buyers for its assets.”

Regarding subscribers, Quibi says that it’s sending out notifications regarding the final date they will be able to access the platform.

Further, Bell says that it’s “in touch with Quibi management and discussing next steps.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal 

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WestJet to start refunding flights cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic



WestJet will be offering refunds to WestJet and Swoop passengers whose flights were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WestJet is the first Canadian airline to provide cash refunds for all flights. It had previously offered refunds for specific flights only, with future flight credit available for the majority of cancelled flights.

In an emailed statement, the airline said starting Monday, Nov. 2, eligible passengers will be contacted “proactively,” a process that will start with those whose flights were cancelled by the airline at the start of the pandemic, starting with trips booked for March.

“The refund process is expected to take six to nine months to work through eligible requests,” WestJet said.

The airline said it also expects an “administrative backlog” as the process gets underway, and asked customers to be patient, and wait to be contacted rather than contacting the airline themselves.

Those looking for refunds for trips booked through WestJet Vacations are asked to continue following the process already in place.

“We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first,” WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims said in a news release.

“We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID-19 world, they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment; and refunds.

“We have been delivering on a safe environment through our Safety Above All program since the onset of the pandemic and as of Monday, Nov. 2, we will proactively provide refunds to original form of payment to itineraries cancelled by WestJet and Swoop.”

of its operations in Atlantic Canada amid the COVID-19 pandemic

In a blog post on the WestJet website, Sims said the airline has been faced with a 95 per cent drop in demand, adding that for 72 days in a row, cancellations outnumbered bookings — a first in the company’s 25-year history.

Now, bookings are once again higher than cancellations, WestJet said, but still not on par with what they were before the pandemic hit.

More than 140 of WestJet’s 181 planes are currently parked, Sims said, and more than 4,000 employees have been laid off.

The airline also suspended its service in Atlantic Canada earlier this month, citing the coronavirus pandemic as making the service “unviable.”

— With files from The Canadian Press




Source: – Global News

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