Workers who do not return to work will maintain their benefits and take advantage of the CEWS
Montreal, April 23rd, 2020- Late in the morning, The IAMAW’s (Local Lodge 869) signed two agreements with Rolls-Royce Canada (RRC) The first agreement allows unionized RRC workers who are currently laid off to receive the maximum insurable wage provided by the program, $1.129 per week minus the applicable deductions.
As part of Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy Program (CEWS), the federal government contributes $847 per week, which represents 75% of the maximum eligible salary of $58,700.
For its part, Rolls-Royce Canada is adding $282 per week to cover the missing 25% to reach 100% of the maximum eligible salary.
The period covered by the program will begin on April 26th, 2020 and end on May 9th, 2020.
“This is great news,” says Hrvoje Golek, shop committee chairperson of Local 869. This agreement allows workers who are forced to stay at home because of COVID-19 to have a clear conscience. They will receive significantly more income than what Employment Insurance and the Canada Emergency Benefit provides.”
“In addition to the emergency wage subsidy that maintains their employment relationship, our members who must stay at home keep the benefits provided in the collective agreement,” says Stéphane Paré, a business representative with District 11. We managed to obtain more than what the CEWS has to offer.”
Change to work schedule
To meet the production need while ensuring that the Quebec government’s measures are respected, union representatives and company representatives entered into a second agreement with RRC that changes the work schedule.
This new temporary work schedule will include three shifts. While the two parties agreed to add a working period on weekends (Saturday to Monday). This will allow 70 unionized RRC workers to return to work. No worker currently on the day or evening shift will be assigned to the weekend shift.
There are 30-minute delays between shifts to avoid contact between worker groups. Overtime will only be used when absolutely necessary.
“These two agreements ensure that as many members as possible are brought back to work, while respecting the physical distancing and hygiene measures required to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Hrvoje Golek.
“Under the circumstances, we negotiated to get the most out of it while keeping the safety and health of our members and their families as a priority,” says Stéphane Paré.
Of the 1,000 RRC workers in Montreal, 680 are members of IAMAW. Of these, 600 are affiliated to Local 869 and 80% of them will be back at work following the signing of the agreements.
“With these two agreements, our Members at Rolls-Royce join the IAMAW members of Air Canada, Air Transat, Airbus and Stelia,” says David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the Machinists’ Union. In each of the companies where we have members, our representatives work tirelessly to reach strong agreements that will allow us to protect their gains and ensure their health and safety.”
Workers at RRC’s Montreal plant are also carrying out the repair and overhaul of Rolls-Royce engines on Bombardier’s Global, some aircraft from aircraft manufacturers such as Gulfstream and Embraer, and the Boeing 787.
The Machinists’ Union the IAMAW is the world’s largest aerospace union with more than 184,000 members in 1,000 collective agreements. Active in Quebec’s aerospace industry since 1940, the IAMAW now represents 65% of unionized workers in the sector. This includes members of the Machinists at Airbus, Bombardier, Rolls-Royce, Stelia, Héroux-Devtek, Safran Landing, L3-MAS, AJ-Walter, Air Canada, Air Transat.