Machinists challenge Air Canada

by MM&D staff

Members of the International Union of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) – the largest union at Air Canada – announced a protest at the headquarters of the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) in Ottawa.

In an advisory IAMAW says that its members will be at the headquarters to show the union’s legal team support, which it says is fighting to preserve the jobs of thousands of aircraft maintenance technicians currently employed by Air Canada.

As IAMAW explains, Air Canada sold ACTS, its maintenance division, in 2007 to a company called Aveos Fleet Performance.

Application to split bargaining unit

The discussions at 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.

Air Canada told MM&D that the hearing began today where Aveos and Air Canada will appear in front of the CIRB to present their case.

The IAMAW’s advisory says it is asking CIRB to not approve the transition of jobs and members from Air Canada to Aveos until the company has shown the union that it is economically viable as a company.

This condition was agreed to in a Memorandum signed by all parties.

The CIRB meanwhile has issued the panel’s first decision regarding IAMAW’s request for more information on Aveos’ viability.

The panel decided that the union is not entitled to any further financial information.

The union says the information is necessary since so many jobs are at risk.

“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,” says Chuck Atkinson, IAMAW district lodge 140 president.

“It is our contention that Aveos remains a common employer with Air Canada.”