Thursday February 7, 2013
For Immediate Release
Toronto, ON – “The court decision handed down this week ordering Air Canada to maintain repair and overhaul operations in Canada proves we were right all along,” said a pleased Dave Ritchie, IAM General Vice President.
On Monday, the Quebec Superior Court sided with the Quebec government’s contention that Air Canada was obligated to do their maintenance work in Canada. The Manitoba Government also supported this legal action.
The Air Canada Public Participation Act of 1988 required the privatized airline maintain maintenance facilities in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montréal. The workers at these facilities are represented by the IAM.
In 2007, Air Canada sold off its heavy maintenance division to Aveos Fleet Performance Incorporated. After Air Canada significantly reduced the amount of work it gave to Aveos, the aircraft overhaul company filed for bankruptcy in March 2012 throwing 2,600 Canadian workers off the job. Air Canada has since moved almost all of its aircraft heavy maintenance previously performed by Aveos, out of the country.
While the IAM itself was precluded from taking legal action, it asked the Quebec and Manitoba governments to seek legal enforcement of Air Canada’s obligations. “I want to thank the governments of Quebec and Manitoba for acting upon our suggestion,” said Ritchie. “This ruling is a victory for all Canadian workers.”
“This doesn’t mean that Air Canada will have to reopen its heavy maintenance division and that everyone will get their jobs back. But it does mean that the airline will have to maintain and overhaul its aircraft in Montréal and Winnipeg and that’s good news because good paying jobs will come back to Canada.”
“We are disappointed that Air Canada has announced it is appealing this decision,” added Ritchie. “We urge them to drop their appeal and move quickly to meet their legal and moral obligations to these communities and Canada. I have made this request today by letter to Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu.”
For further information:
Dave Ritchie – IAM Canadian General Vice President
416-386-1789 Ext #6323
Fred Hospes – IAM District Lodge 140 President and Directing General Chairperson
Bill Trbovich – IAM Director of Communications
416-386-1789 Ext #6331/416-735-9765