Aveos workers forced to take unpaid leave -Winnipeg Free Press

By: Murray McNeill

Posted: 03/17/2012 1:00 AM

FIFTY-SIX workers at a local plant that does maintenance and repair work on Air Canada planes are being forced to take what amounts to a week off without pay next week, according to spokesmen for their union.

Lorne Hammerberg, president of Local 714 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said Air Canada’s decision to postpone optional maintenance checks on some of its planes means there will be only two planes to work on next week at Aveos Fleet Performance Inc.’s Winnipeg facility instead of the four that had been scheduled.

As a result, 56 of the plant’s approximately 320 unionized workers have been told by Aveos to stay home for the week.

Hammerberg said the forced one-week leaves will likely continue, with a different group of workers affected each week until Air Canada puts the planes back on the maintenance schedule. The union hasn’t been told when that will happen.

IAMAW western region general chairman Tony Didoshak said the same thing is happening to employees at the Aveos maintenance base in Montreal.

He said the union has complained to a government-appointed arbitrator, and a hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday in Toronto.

Aveos is the private-sector firm that was created in 2007 when Air Canada converted its technical services division, which did all of the maintenance and repair work on its planes, into a stand-alone operation.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 17, 2012 B5


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