TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 3, 2012) - "Unless the federal government and Air Canada become part of the solution, Canada will lose a strategic industry," said IAM Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie.
Until its operations ceased on March 19, 2012, Aveos was the largest commercial aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operator in Canada with facilities in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal.
"But we have a problem because the federal government has to date refused to step up on this issue and Air Canada's legal actions contradict the commitments of its CEO Calin Rovinescu," explained Ritchie. Ritchie was referring to the motion Air Canada filed on Wednesday in federal court seeking to cancel all of its contracts with AVEOS. "If successful this would make it significantly more difficult to sell Aveos as one business," said Ritchie. "These court actions contradict the commitment Mr Rovinescu gave to the parliamentary Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities in early April of this year. He said Air Canada would participate in any effort to find new investors to create a new MRO that would provide jobs to Aveos workers. This is not the way to go about it."
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is calling upon Ottawa and Air Canada, to join the governments of Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia and the municipalities of Vancouver, Richmond, Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal, to come to the table to discuss the saving of Aveos and 2,600 highly skilled jobs.
"The Machinists Union is committed to working jointly with an investor that is committed to restructuring a viable MRO business in Canada that meets the needs of workers and the interests of the communities, business and all vested stakeholders," said Ritchie."
The IAM believes both the federal government and Air Canada must be part of the solution to save not only the 2,600 highly skilled jobs at Aveos but more than ten thousand jobs associated with Aveos suppliers on both sides of the border. "We need all parties at the table to facilitate an atmosphere conducive to continuing operations at a successor to Aveos," said Ritchie.
IAM Canadian General Vice President
IAM Director of Communications
416-386-1789 ext #6331 or 416-735-9765