FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Machinists Union Leadership to Testify at Commons Transport Committee
OTTAWA – Dave Ritchie, Canadian Vice President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), will outline the union’s position on air transport restructuring in an appearance before the House of Commons Transport Committee today (Tuesday, November 16) at 5 p.m. in Room 237-C of the Centre Block.
The Machinists Union, Canada’s largest air transport union, representing more than 18,500 workers will call on the committee to recommend to that the protect the federal government take an active regulatory role to protect the public interest.
The brief says, in part: “We do not have a rigid view of the nature of the regulatory regime required, but it must clearly contain elements to protect communities and consumers, as well as workers in the sector.”
To protect workers the union will urge the committee to recommend that there be a long term jobs program extending over several years which would incorporate the following fundamentals:
a recognition that the entire air transport industry (including airline service providers, regionals and other carriers), not just the two major carriers, be considered and included in any policy;
a commitment to work with all parties, including the unions, to minimize employment reductions across the sector, and to ensure that job reductions take place only as the result of attrition or voluntary separation;
no major transfer of employment out of Canada;.
a commitment to work with the unions, and to put in place a program of worker assistance, including income support, retraining assistance, job search and relocation assistance and priority access to job openings in the sector; and
protection of existing collective agreements across the sector, and successor rights on contracted-out work.
The union also will provide committee members with a video message outlining the IAM’s position. The video — Restructuring Air Transport: the Human Dimension / Le côté humain de la restructuration du transport aérien.– depicts IAM members on the job from coast to coast to coast, and narration outlines the key points of concern to IAM members. The English and French version are on the same cassette. Each is approximately 6 minutes and 30 seconds in length.
CONTACT: Dave Ritchie: (416) 386-1789
SOURCE: Neville Hamilton (613) 731-6316 (Ottawa Office) (613) 720-4493 (Cell)
Frank Saptel (416) 386-1789