The Canada Day long weekend is the official kickstart to summer and typically the busiest travel season of the year. This year is different!
As provincial lockdowns come to an end, we have yet to see a what the federal governments has as a plan to restart aviation in this country. Canadian borders have been closed to non-essential travel for 14 months. There’s been no announcement on a vaccine verification program and lots of confusion over quarantine requirements.
“We understand that restarting aviation is a complex issue but we need to see what the federal government has in mind. We would like Mr. Trudeau to show us the plan! Aviation is a key contributor to the Canadian economy and our members deserve to know when they are getting back to work. We want to make sure any restart plan puts workers first. Show us the plan,” said David Chartrand, IAM Canadian General Vice-President.
The aviation industry has seen severe layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic – in fact, it is one of the hardest-hit sectors in Canada. This crucial industry will not survive unless the federal government does something. Since a recovery is not expected until 2025, we need swift action from the government.
“Our members are waiting,” said Keith Aiken, IAM Canadian Transportation Co-ordinator. “Our members who were laid off can’t wait any longer. The massive loss of air passenger capacity and the shutdown of 28 stations across Canada must be addressed in any recovery plan.”
Pre-pandemic, aviation and aerospace contributed as much as $2.8 billion to the Canadian economy and employed as many as 400,000 workers.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) is the leading union in the aerospace sector and air transportation industry. The IAMAW represents over 55,000 members across Canada, of which 22,000 work in the aviation, aerospace and air transportation sector.