International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

October 03, 2010 22:39 ET

Machinists Challenge Air Canada at CIRB!

Media Advisory

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, News Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor, Transportation Editor OTTAWA, ONTARIO MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2010) - WHO: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
WHAT: Splitting of the IAMAW Bargaining Unit between Air Canada and AVEOS
WHY: The future of thousands of highly trained technicians at Air Canada is at risk
WHEN: 10:00 AM Monday October 4, 2010
WHERE: Canadian Industrial Relations Board
4th floor West
240 Sparks Street,
Ottawa, Ontario

Ottawa, ON - Members of the International Union of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) - the largest union at Air Canada - invite the media to a protest at the headquarters of the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) in Ottawa.

In attendance will be members of the IAMAW who are there to show support for the Union's legal team which are fighting to preserve the jobs of thousands of highly trained aircraft maintenance technicians currently employed by Air Canada.

In 2007, Air Canada sold their maintenance division, ACTS, to a company now called Aveos Fleet Performance.

The discussions at the CIRB are the result of an application by Air Canada and Aveos Fleet Performance requesting a split of the collective bargaining certification for the aircraft maintenance technicians from that of the baggage handlers, cargo agents, warehouse personnel, financial staff and office staff at Air Canada.

The IAMAW is asking that the CIRB not approve the transition of our jobs and members from Air Canada to AVEOS until they have shown to the Union that AVEOS Fleet Performance Inc is economically viable as a company, which was agreed to in a Memorandum signed by all parties.

At this point in time, the CIRB has issued the Panel's first decision regarding the IAMAW's request for more information regarding the future viability of Aveos. It is their decision that the Union is not entitled to anything further financial information from Aveos.
The Union had requested this information as the future employment of thousands of highly trained technicians and their families is at risk, as is the entire aircraft maintenance industry in Canada.

"Our position has been made very clear to the panel and the two companies," said IAMAW District Lodge 140 President Chuck Atkinson. "We do not have enough information at this time for us to make a determination whether Aveos, which has experienced financial trouble from the very start, has been able to reach a restructuring plan that is viable. It is our contention that Aveos remains a common employer with Air Canada."

The CIRB panel hearing this case consist of Elizabeth MacPherson - CIRB Chairperson, Pat Heinke - Employer Representative and Daniel Charbonneau - Labour Panel member.

The IAMAW has requested that all future hearings be open to the public and conducted in both official languages so that our members and the public can attend.

The IAMAW members who work for Air Canada today are very concerned about their future and whether they will have a job tomorrow, overhauling aircraft for Air Canada.

It appears that the plan of the companies is to transfer the maintenance of their aircraft outside of Canada, perhaps to El Salvador to Aeroman, a company owned by Aveos Holdings.

How do Canadians feel about flying on aircraft that has been repaired in El Salvador?

The IAMAW is the largest Union at Air Canada, representing more than 10,000 mechanics, baggage handlers, cargo agents, warehouse staff and financial staff office of the airline.

-30- /For further information: Chuck Atkinson – IAMAW District Lodge 140 President & General Chairperson
905-671-3192 ext #224/416-833-8140
Carlo DaCosta – IAMAW Airline Coordinator
416-386-1789 ext #6329/416-575-3492
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