February 11, 2021- The COVID-19 pandemic is hurting the aerospace industry and this is reflected in the announcement today of 1,600 layoffs at Bombardier in Montreal, QC.
“For almost a year now we have been urging the Federal Government for supports in the Aviation Industry, and this is just one more bad news story for workers in aerospace.” Those were the words from IAM General Vice-President Stan Pickthall.
The effects of the pandemic continue to result in the layoff of workers in the Quebec aerospace sector. Of the 1,600 layoffs announced today, 700 are in Quebec.
“I have been working in the union environment for over 30 years and it still hurts to see my sisters and brothers lose their jobs,” deplored the IAM Quebec Coordinator David Chartrand. “These are difficult times. With the downturn in the aerospace industry right now, no one is spared. In the coming days, we will be discussing with Bombardier to see what we can do to minimize the impacts of these layoffs.”
Trudeau government’s stagnation continues to cost money
Canada is the only country with a significant aerospace industry in its territory that does not have a strategy to counter the negative impacts of the crisis. In addition to the jobs already lost, tens of thousands of additional jobs could disappear in the aerospace sector and air transport, for lack of intervention by the Federal government.
“Neglecting two industries so important to Quebec and Canada is unheard of,” said Chartrand. “The federal government’s inaction on this issue is irresponsible and historic. Help has been requested for almost 12 months and the federal government has shown no sign of life. Meanwhile, the other G7 countries have long since put measures in place.”
IAM will keep up the pressure
In a presentation to the Standing Committee on Transport in early February, the IAM demanded rapid action from Ottawa to help the entire civil aviation industry.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have been stepping up interaction with governments, both in Quebec City and Ottawa,” explained Chartrand. “We have proposed concrete actions to save our industry and our jobs and we will continue to do so for our members, our industry and our economy.”
The IAM is the world’s largest aerospace union with more than 184,000 members spread over 1,000 collective agreements. Active in Quebec’s aerospace industry since 1940, the IAM now represents 65% of unionized workers in the sector. Among many others, IAM members work at Bombardier, Airbus, Stelia, Rolls-Royce, Héroux-Devtek, Safran Landing, L3-MAS, AJ-Walter, Air Canada, Air Transat.
Guillaume Valois, IAM Local 712 Public Relations and Research
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