Transportation District 140 -President’s Message – April 1, 2016

The Government didn’t do its Homework with Bill C-10

Liberals Amend Air Canada Public Participation Act

Canadian GVP Dave Ritchie has often said that governments can change the lives of working Canadians with a stroke of a pen and on March 24, 2016, the federal Liberals did just that.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau filed amendments to the Air Canada Public Participation Act under Bill C-10. The amendments allow Air Canada to control the type and the volume of any aircraft maintenance work of its fleet in Canada. The Bill was filed on Thursday March 24, 2016 just before the Easter long weekend in the hopes that nobody would notice. If you didn’t know any better, you would think the Conservatives were still in power. It has a Harperesque stench to it.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau stated that the Liberal Government did their homework before making this decision. Bullshit! If the Government did their homework, they would know that Air Canada has unused hangar space throughout Canada where Air Canada could perform aircraft overhaul maintenance checks and aircraft component & engine overhaul centers in Montreal and Vancouver (AJW Technique, Lockheed Martin and MTU Maintenance Canada). If the Liberal Government did their homework they would come to the conclusion that Air Canada heavy maintenance overhaul work could be performed right here in Canada where the work belongs.

The government has bought into the vague promises by Air Canada that it will create a Centre of Excellence for the newly acquired C Series 300 aircraft and that it will do heavy maintenance on this aircraft in Quebec for 20 years following the delivery of the first aircraft in 2019. But what about the rest of its current fleet.

The government answered that with a stroke of the pen with Bill C-10. There was no consultation with our union, no recognition of the expertise of our members in the heavy maintenance field, in fact no due diligence from the government about how these amendments can do irreparable harm to an important industry. With this Bill, Air Canada is free of its obligations to our members, the cities of Winnipeg, Mississauga Montréal and Vancouver and the industry that provides highly skilled good paying jobs!

The time has come for all IAM members across Canada to pick up their pens and educate their local members of parliament, that this Bill is just plain bad for the aircraft maintenance sector. Tell them not to proceed with any changes to the Air Canada Public Participation Act at this time and compel Air Canada to do its part to rebuild this vital industry.

On our website you will find letters that you can send to your local MP. Go to your computer, fill it in, sign it and send it to your local MP. If you need the address of your local MP, click on this link to find all the contact information you need.

Fred Hospes

President & Directing General Chairperson
Transportation District 140, IAMAW

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