Montréal, March 11, 2016 – This morning, the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL) filed in the Superior Court of Quebec a motion for a permanent injunction against Air Canada regarding the maintenance and overhaul of the carrier’s aircraft. In its motion, the QFL applies to the Superior Court to issue an order forcing Air Canada to meet its obligations pursuant to the Air Canada Public Participation Act, i.e., to have its fleet of planes maintained and overhauled on the territories of the former Montreal Urban Community as well as the cities of Winnipeg and Mississauga.
“We are announcing today our decision to fight for justice and jobs in aerospace, a crucial sector of our economy, at a time where we feel that we have been abandoned by the Quebec government. Last February 17, the government announced that it had reached a secret agreement with Air Canada. However, neither the QFL nor its affiliates, which are nevertheless recognized and major stakeholders in the aerospace sector, were informed of such. In 2012, we are the ones who asked the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Quebec to act in the public interest and wage the battle against Air Canada to have this company abide by the law. The approach received the unanimous support of the Members of the National Assembly on March 21 of that year. Jobs are important to the QFL! We refuse to give up on hundreds of jobs because of this government’s bad deal. We therefore ask that the Superior Court deliver on its own decision rendered on February 4, 2013, a decision condemning Air Canada’s attitude in this matter that was upheld by the Court of Appeal on November 3, 2015,” explained Serge Cadieux, Secretary General of the QFL.
“To ensure the development of the aerospace industry, aircraft maintenance and overhaul operations represent an important source of expertise. Aircraft development and maintenance go hand in hand. For example, no one could imagine manufacturing cars without having maintenance centres to repair them. The aerospace sector is as important to Quebec as the automotive sector is to Ontario. That’s why we are choosing to wage this battle, to develop this industrial cluster and defend each and every job at stake. Montreal is the third most important aerospace hub in the world after Toulouse and Seattle. It represents more than 41,000 jobs spread out through 235 companies that generate 2% of the province’s GDP,” claimed David Chartrand, QFL Vice-President and Quebec Coordinator of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW).
“This morning, we took very important action in the name of a basic principle of justice. The law is clear and the courts’ interpretation is clear. There must be a way to have justice upheld in this country! Air Canada is a national carrier and we expect it to comply with our laws and purchase Canadian-built planes without having to resort to blackmailing. Air Canada must show more respect for the sacrifices made by its thousands of employees over the course of the past decades,” concluded Serge Cadieux.
The QFL is Quebec’s largest labour confederation and represents more than 600,000 workers, including over 21,000 in the aerospace sector.
Information: Atïm León, 514 891-2846
The document filed with the Superior Court is available upon request.