Baggage Tossing Video Puts Air Canada in Hot Seat, Handlers Set to Lose Jobs

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 22, 2014 1:47 PM EST

Two baggage handlers of Air Canada are set to lose their jobs after a video went viral showing them dropping passenger luggage several metres into a bin on the ground.

"Their employment will be terminated pending the outcome of our investigation," the Canadian Press quoted Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah. The two male workers have been reportedly informed of their impending job loss.

REUTERS
Air Canada aircraft pictured at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airline's flight attendants have threatened to walk out, although Canada's Labour Minister said the government will block the strike.

But Air Canada isn't the only one being slapped in this development. Even Toronto's Pearson International Airport, where the baggage tossing incident happened, is included. Observers and passengers both opined that while what the workers did was unacceptable, they also believed the lack of equipment at the airport forced them to do such things.

"Am I the only one who thinks it's the airport's responsibility to provide decent equipment? I mean who would want to carry 500+ luggages a day down those stairs? PS: I don't know how often they do this, please correct me if I am wrong," a certain Alex C. commented on the video posted on YouTube by TheDStewart99.

"Proper equipment is key. Those bags are the ones that the check-in agent let by thinking they would fit in the over-head, or the plane may have been full and they ran out of room," Chance Chapadeau said.

Bill Trbovich, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said the incident caught on video was a reality that happens because workers were under intense pressure to move the items quickly.

When the plane's space for carry-on luggage gets all tolled up, baggage handlers immediately take actions to stow the luggage elsewhere. Otherwise, the flight gets delayed, which of course, passengers won't find as an acceptable excuse.

But carrying heavy baggage down steep stairs, all while being pressured to get the planes out on time, is no mean feat. Thus, the tossing.

The baggage-tossing incident video was taken by a passenger who was right on board a plane at Toronto's Pearson Airport. It showed one worker dropping baggage six metres from the stairs to a luggage bin on the ground. Another baggage handler, working below, picks up the bags.

The airline has apologised for the "totally unacceptable mishandling of our passengers' baggage captured on video."

"The root of problem is really with Air Canada for not having the proper set up for efficient unloading," ewtubewatcher said.

Watch the video here.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Mark Blinch)
Air Canada aircraft pictured at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The airline's flight attendants have threatened to walk out, although Canada's Labour Minister said the government will block the strike.
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