22 September, 2020
For immediate release
Vancouver, BC – Arbitrator Corrinn Bell issued two decision, both in favour of IAM Local 11 members working at Avcorp Inc. The basis of the union’s grievances lay in the fact that 11 members (10 aircraft mechanics and one material handler) were all laid off and their seniority retention ran out.
After a span of approximately 4 years, they were rehired as new employees, but at three classification levels lower than when they were laid off. It was a case of earning almost $28 per hour, and then, after 4 years, starting again at $26 per hour while performing the same work they previously performed. The wage rate today is $32.95 per hour.
This was an unusual process as the grievance was filed a year after the first employee was rehired. The Company tried to have the case thrown out because of the time it took to file the grievance and also arguing that the union knew about the company’s practice to pay whatever they wanted and that the Union did not dissent.
However, the Union was never notified by the company of the employees’ wage rate until a year after the first impacted employee was rehired.
Arbitrator Bell sided with the Union that the grievance had not run out of time and the company’s actions were not agreed to by the Union, neutralising the “past practice argument”.
The Union pointed out that the language in the contract was clear: the workers had to be paid at a wage that was in line with their work experience. The arbitrator clearly agreed.
The Arbitrator provided the remedy for all 11 employees, recognising they were not hired at the appropriate wage rate. The members were awarded wages, retirement contributions and overtime, among others. The total award package is a maximum of approximately $8,000 per member.
IAM Local Lodge 11 represents some 250 men and women who work in the aerospace trades at Avcorp Industries in Delta, British Columbia. They joined the IAM in April 1975.
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For more information:
Paul Pelletreau, Businesss Representative, IAM DL250