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WestJet Airlines is advising customers flying to or from Toronto to pack a lunch after 800 workers at Gate Gourmet catering company went on strike overnight.

The work stoppage by the on-board food supplier also affects passengers on Air Canada and most other flights at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada’s busiest.

Gate Gourmet workers, who cook, pack and deliver meals and drinks for as many as 250 daily flights at Pearson, went on strike at midnight after rejecting a final offer from the employer, said Martin Cerqua, the lead union negotiator and president of Teamsters local 647.

Air Canada will be most affected by the strike, the Teamsters said in a statement, as will United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, TAP Air Portugal, Air India, Aero Mexico, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Jetlines.

“Our members accepted a wage freeze during the pandemic to help this company survive. Now their managers brag about how profitable their operations have become at Pearson, while proposing wage increases as low as 89 cents an hour,” Mr. Cerqua said.

The workers are paid between $17.70 and $20 an hour, as much as $6 less than their counterparts at other companies and Gate Gourmet’s Vancouver work force, Teamsters spokesman Christopher Monette said.

Zurich-based Gate Gourmet, the largest airline caterer in Canada, said it was “disappointed” by the workers’ rejection of an offer that included 12-per-cent pay raises over three years.

Elaine Dray, the head of human resources at Gategroup North America, Gate Gourmet’s parent company, said the union has demanded raises of 24 per cent over three years, including 17 per cent in the first year. She disputed the Teamsters’ stated pay range, saying 405 workers make more than $21 an hour. In an interview, Ms. Dray said the company will use managers, office staff and outside workers while the strike is on.

Customers in WestJet’s premium seating and on transatlantic flights will receive an unspecified “alternative option” or predeparture voucher for food and drinks, the airline said.

WestJet planned for the strike by stocking some planes with food and will, where possible, load meals at other airports. The strike affects travellers on the carrier’s Boeing 737s; its 787s are served under a different contract.

“WestJet is advising guests travelling to or from Toronto to plan ahead and bring an extra snack and/or beverage for their journey,” the airline said in a statement.

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said there will be no hot meals on flights of less than two hours but snacks and water will be available. On longer flights within North America, there will be fewer hot-meal options, and special options will be limited to kosher.

“We do not anticipate an impact on our international flights,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said.

Gate Gourmet said it has unspecified contingency plans with its airline customers to limit the strike’s impact. “We remain committed to doing right by our employees and ending the strike so that we can continue to partner with our airlines customers and serve the travelling public,” the company said in an e-mail.

The Teamsters’ Mr. Monette said no talks were scheduled as of midday Tuesday. He declined to discuss negotiations but said the company’s offer “fell short” amid a cost-of-living crisis that came after pandemic layoffs and wage freezes. Now is the company’s turn to “step up,” he said.

Travellers are allowed to bring such “solid” food as sandwiches and fruit on a plane, but softer meals, including smoothies or chili, might be barred, according to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. Beverages of less than 100 millilitres are also permitted.

CATSA warns that any food not eaten by the time a passenger arrives at a foreign airport is subject to that country’s restrictions.

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