Canadian Labour Congress

Canadian Labour Congress

April 20, 2007 16:30 ET

Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti Launches Pre-Federal Election Campaign in Vancouver with Demand to Save 867 Air Canada Jobs

CLC Campaign focuses on Five Issues and One Question. Who's on Your Side?

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 20, 2007) - Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti launched the labour movement's pre-federal election campaign with a demand that 867 highly-skilled Air Canada jobs be saved.

Georgetti said the 2007 Better Choice campaign will raise across the country the most important issues for the 3.2 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress and the first issue is jobs. Working families want their political leaders to stand up to protect good jobs that pay good wages.

"It is unacceptable to working families in this country that more than 867 highly-skilled Air Canada Technical Services workers will lose their jobs and there is no political reaction," Georgetti said. "Not only is this a tragedy for these workers and their families, it is a tragedy for Canada."

"The government in Ottawa needs to understand that each job lost by the workers at Air Canada Technical Services represents a regular pay cheque that is not being spent and invested in this country," said David Ritchie, General Vice-President of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM&AW). "This campaign is a call to all political parties to show how they're going to keep good jobs in Canada and create new jobs that pay good wages to workers in Canada."

Georgetti and Ritchie met with several workers, IAM&AW members, who will lose their family-supporting jobs. They perform aircraft heavy maintenance on behalf of Air Canada at Vancouver International Airport.

Air Canada Technical Services announced in March that 867 of 1,000 aerospace employees in Richmond will be laid off starting in June after a maintenance contract for Boeing 767s with Delta Airlines was terminated and the work moved to Hong Kong.

Air Canada has also announced it will be buying majority ownership in an aircraft maintenance facility in El Salvador and IAM&AW has charged that Air Canada is exporting jobs from this country.

"Our Better Choice campaign will focus on jobs and four other issues critical to working people in the next election - training and education, pensions, affordable prescription drugs and early learning," Georgetti said.

"Everyday working people in Canada make up the majority of voters, but the issues important to workers are not getting the attention they deserve from our elected representatives in Ottawa," Georgetti said. "Our Better Choice campaign is aimed at changing that."

Georgetti said a federal election could be called at any time, making it a critical time to encourage everyday working people to look at the issues that can make a real difference in their lives and where Canadian political parties stand on them.

The CLC is using a special web site - - and leaflets that will be distributed to members to focus on its election issues.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils. Web site:

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