Ottawa, ON – More than 350 union and political activists, including 72 IAM members, roamed the offices of 200 MP’s and Senators on Parliament Hill this week lobbying for a national Pharmacare Plan, Pension Reform, and Labour Law Reform. The IAM members also lobbied the politicians to support the call for a National Aerospace Strategy.
IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall and IAM Québec Coordinator David Chartrand were front and center with the NDP and the Bloc Québecois at news conference calling on the government to support a national aerospace strategy.
“Since the introduction of our aerospace report, ‘Grounded Potential’, stakeholders from across the country are in agreement with our approach,” said Pickthall. “The same sense of urgency is beginning to be felt by the political class. It is time for the Trudeau government to give us a signal. In fact, if Prime Minister Trudeau wants to talk to us, our door is always open.”
“For 25 years, our organization has been working for a pan-Canadian strategy for this industry,” explained Chartrand. “We are now at a crossroads. We need a long-term strategy now.”
“In order to maintain and create good jobs in the aerospace sector, we need a long-term vision” said NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemount-Petite-Patrie). “That is why the NDP supports the Machinists demand for a federal strategy for these critical sectors and for our economy.”
“I’m worried about the future,” explained Bloc Québecois MP Gabriel Ste-Marie (Joliette). “Research and development expenditures are beginning to decrease. There are not many new major projects and research that is not done today equals jobs that will not be created tomorrow. I am very pleased, on behalf of the Bloc Québecois, to join forces with the IAM. They have done a remarkable job with the report they have drafted.”
Neil Giroux (IAM Grand Lodge Special Representative) with Liberal MP Francois Drouin
IAM lobbyists distributed copies of the 36 page booklet, ‘Grounded Potential’, an IAM report on a National Aerospace Strategy to every MP and Senator they met. The response was not only positive but highly educational as well. For many of the MP’s and Senators this was the first time they heard of the impending skilled worker shortage facing the aerospace industry in six to eight years. “Not only were many of our politicians surprised by the impending skilled workers shortage but they also learned Canada does not have the educational infrastructure in place to train new workers to replace the retirees, said Pickthall. “The other thing many of the politicians picked up on was that the industry agrees with us. We have delivered the message, we encouraged them to read our report and we’ll be back to see them again to ensure they act on it.”
John Iheme – (IAM LL 2323), Carlos DaCosta – (IAM Airline Coordinator), James Maloney – Liberal MP, Yeonette Richards (SEIU), Peter MacDonald (OCETA)
Derek Ferguson – (IAM Grand Lodge Political Action), Levis Davis (IAM LL 2323), Kim Valliere – (IAM DL 78), Raj Saini – Liberal MP, Cyril Burke- (IAM LL 103)
Christofer Snook, Dany Richard, Josee Forest-Niesing – Independent MP, Jim Smith, Gary Hynes – (IAM Grand Lodge Representative)
Hassan Youseff –(CLC President), Tyler Downey (SEIU), Bill Morneau – Liberal MP, Stan Pickthall – (IAM Cdn General Vice President), David Black (COPE)
Cyril Burke – (IAM LL 103), Derek Ferguson – (IAM Grand Lodge Political Action), Dennis Van Meer – (USW L 1005), Kim Valliere – (IAM DL 78), Brian May – Liberal MP, Ed Delaporte – (IAM Grand Lodge Auditor)
Neil Giroux – (IAM Grand Lodge Special Representative) with Bran Masse – NDP MP