June 5th, 2020 – Bombardier Aerospace announced today that it is laying off 2,500 workers at its plants around the world. In Montreal, 717 members of AIMTA Local 712 and currently on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program (CEWS) will be affected. A decision that we find incomprehensible when Bombardier could have avoided this wave of layoffs by using the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for all of its employees.
“We are extremely disappointed that Bombardier is refusing to reapply to the CEWS program for all of its employees. It would have been better if the aircraft manufacturer had been more open to its employees in these difficult times,” says David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the Machinists’ Union.
“On May 27th, we contacted Bombardier to invite them to reapply to the CEWS program. By today’s decision, we understand that the company had no intention of moving in that direction. For our part, we were ready to extend the agreements governing the application of the CEWS program for the good of the workers,” explains Eric Rancourt, DISTRICT 11 business representative for the IAMAW.
“With the CEWS program, Bombardier had a way to avoid the layoffs announced today. In these times of financial uncertainty and global pandemic, Bombardier should have subscribed to the CEWS program for the good of all its workers, unfortunately, that is not what happened. This decision is difficult to understand and accept,” says Yvon Paiement, President of IAMAW Local 712.
IAM Canadian General Vice-President Stan Pickthall added his voice, “This situation is further proof that it is urgent that the federal government adopt a Canada-wide aerospace strategy and that it recognize aerospace as a strategic industry for the country and as an important pillar of our economy.”
Bombardier and CEWS – Backgrounder
On April 18th, Bombardier announced that it would not qualify for the CEWS for the period from March 25th to April 11th, 2020.
On May 15th, following the federal government’s announcement to relax the eligibility criteria for the CEWS and extend its duration until August 29th, the IAMAW immediately began discussions with the company to request a new application.
On May 19th, the IAMAW reached an agreement with Bombardier to implement CEWS. This agreement would apply retroactively from March 25th and end on June 6th.
On May 27th, the IAMAW asked Bombardier to re-subscribe to the CEWS program and to begin discussions to extend its agreements with the company to provide its members with coverage beyond June 6th.
The Machinists’ Union (IAMAW) is the world’s largest aerospace union, representing 184,000 members in 1,000 collective agreements. Active in Quebec’s aerospace industry since 1940, the IAMAW now represents 65% of unionized workers in the sector. This includes members of the Machinists at Airbus, Bombardier, Rolls-Royce, Stelia, Héroux-Devtek, Safran Landing, L3-MAS, AJ-Walter, Air Canada, Air Transat.
Guillaume Valois au 514-966-0915
SOURCE: IAM Local Lodge 712