International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

March 02, 2010 23:19 ET

Air Canada Layoffs will be felt Across the Country

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor, Transportation Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - March 2, 2010) - For Immediate Release

Toronto, ON - The initial impact of the upcoming Air Canada layoffs next month will be felt not only in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal but in every Air Canada station in the country.

"The Impact on the families of laid off members is the hardest to measure," said IAMAW District 140 General Chairperson Tony Didoshak. "Winnipeg Heavy Maintenance is the hardest hit base in the country with 80 per cent of its work disappearing. We're losing 83 aircraft mechanics on a permanent basis in April and another 216 will face temporary layoff, followed by another 45 temporary layoffs in June. The earliest they can expect a recall if at all is November of this year or early January 2011."

What angers Didoshak and other Machinists is the fact Air Canada could have softened the blow for many of the affected members by participating in a government-sponsored EI Workshare program. Air Canada however was not willing to administrate the program.

In order to keep on working, many IAMAW members will have to move to another city via seniority bumping clauses in their collective agreement. "It means the uprooting of families, disposal of homes in uncertain real estate markets and long periods away from loved ones during this transition period," said Didoshak. "It's never a good time to lose you job, but right now in Canada, it's very bleak and if you have a chance of being recalled by Air Canada, new employers won't touch you."

In view of the layoffs, the sorry state of the Canadian aviation industry, and Air Canada's plans to service and maintain more of its aircraft on foreign soil, the Federal NDP has called upon the Conservative government to bring in legislation to ensure Canadian aircraft are maintained and repaired in Canada.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is the largest union at Air Canada representing more than 11,000 workers.

/For further information: For further information:
Chuck Atkinson – IAMAW District 140 President and Directing General Chairperson
905-671-3192 ext #224/416-833-8140
Fred Hospes – IAMAW District 140 Regional Assistant Directing General Chairperson
George Bujold – IAMAW District 140 General Chairperson – Eastern Region
Tony Didoshak – IAMAW District 140 General Chairperson – Western Region
Bill Trbovich – IAMAW Director of Communications
416-386-1789 ext# 6331/416-735-9765


Contact Information

  • Bill Trbovich, Director of Communications, IAMAW
    Primary Phone: 416-386-1789 ext. 6331
    Secondary Phone: 416-735-9765