On Monday November 30, 2020, the Canadian Government gave an economic update for 2020, which was the first economic update since March 2019. Given the impact of the pandemic across the economy, the anxiously anticipated briefing provided insight into the state of Canadian economy, and the hotly debated deficit. Of significant interest to the IAMAW are the government’s support for air transportation, aerospace, and the long-term care sector.
Unfortunately, the Liberals’ economic plan did not include direct funding to the industries that are irrefutably the hardest hit, such as air transportation, and the closely connected aerospace industry. While the Liberals are planning to put forward up to 980 million for supports and rent reliefs to Canadian airports, without direct t federal intervention, the Canadian air transportation and aerospace industries are in jeopardy. The IAM has for many months been actively lobbying for a plan that included targeted funding to these industries given the challenges they will continue facing well into 2021. Once again, the Canadian strategy lags behind that of our competitors, where direct funding was provided to struggling industries, but also to specific companies that are of critical importance to domestic economies. As the largest union in the air transportation sector, it is deeply concerning that the Liberal government didn’t prioritize key driving sectors as part of an economic recovery plan.
The IAM has continually called on the government throughout this pandemic to expedite aid to the air transportation industry and have engaged in several rounds of conversations to encourage the government to provide direct funding. However, after almost 10 months of crisis, “There is still nothing,” says David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the Machinists’ Union. “Meanwhile, more and more workers in the air transport sector are suffering.”
Stan Pickthall, IAM Canadian General Vice President, echoed those sentiments: still nothing,” Meanwhile, more and more workers in the air transport sector are suffering”, says David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the Machinists’ Union.
“The IAM is worried that without help from the federal government the airline industry in Canada could see bankruptcies, service reductions and even more massive job losses. The IAM is calling on the federal government to expedite federal aid to this critical sector. Pickthall also noted that these losses will translate to a downstream impact in Canada’s aerospace industry: “ The aerospace sector provides 235 000 jobs and over 28 billion to the GDP of this country. The government needs to act fast. ”
The IAM continues to call on the Government to support the critical air transportation sector, and advocating for measures that help air transportation, such as a national COVID-19 testing program to reduce quarantine times.
The time to act is – NOW.