Grounding of ACE Wind up Plan Good News say Machinists!

Tuesday March 3, 2009
For Immediate Release
Toronto, ON – “Any way you slice it, somebody at ACE is having sober second thoughts about proceeding with the distribution of its assets to ACE shareholders,” said IAMAW General Vice President Dave Ritchie.
Ritchie was responding to the announcement by Air Canada Enterprises (ACE) that it would delay its shareholders meeting and the distribution of its assets to ACE shareholders. “We made in very clear in mid February that the members of the ACE and Air Canada Board of Directors will be liable if ACE goes ahead with its plans to wind up ACE Aviation and distribute the proceeds to its shareholders, explained Ritchie. “ACE has an obligation and a responsibility to repay the debt that they owe to Air Canada, its employees and pension plan beneficiaries. I think our threat of litigation has caught their attention.”
ACE Aviation has progressively sold off assets that had previously belonged to Air Canada. The proceeds from those assets sales, some $2 billion CDN, have already been distributed to the shareholders. “The state of the economy is creating very significant challenges for Air Canada and the funds held by ACE would be best used to support the airline and its pension plans” said Ritchie. “Air Canada workers and retirees have already made sacrifices that helped Air Canada survive the last economic downturn. The shareholders of ACE have done well for themselves. Now is the time for ACE to meaningfully recognize those sacrifices by using its assets to support Air Canada and Air Canada’s employees and pension plan beneficiaries”.
“This is far from over,” warned Ritchie. “They have only postponed the shareholders meeting and we intend to continue to apply pressure until the ACE Board of Directors fulfills its obligations it owes to its employees and retirees.”
The IAMAW is largest union at Air Canada representing more than nine thousand mechanics, baggage handlers, cargo agents, stores, finance and clerical personnel.