Statement by David Chartrand, Québec coordinator of the IAMAW and vice-president of the FTQ, regarding the departure of Pierre Beaudoin

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Press release                                                   

Statement by David Chartrand, Québec coordinator of the IAMAW and vice-president of the FTQ, regarding the departure of Pierre Beaudoin

Montréal – “The announced departure of Pierre Beaudoin as executive chairman on June 30th will in no way solve the underlying problem of the indecent compensation paid to business leaders and chairpersons of boards of directors in Québec,” states David Chartrand at the outset.
“Our position has remained unchanged from the start. The compensation increases awarded to the senior executives were inappropriate especially in light of the contributions made to the company by the provincial and federal governments.

However, without wishing in any way to defend Pierre Beaudoin, I believe that he has been used as a scapegoat in the past days. Bombardier’s executives are far from the only ones who abuse with it comes to the issue of their compensation. The phenomenon has spread like a generalized cancer. It’s a problem that affects society as a whole and hinders the sound distribution of wealth. As a unionist, I make it my duty to fight against such forms of injustice. Our elected officials are now going to have to start reflecting on this problem from a global standpoint.

Just yesterday, in the U.S., the AFL-CIO revealed that the average American CEO makes 347 times more than the average worker. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, in Canada, the average CEO earns 193 times more than the average salary paid to Canadian workers (which sits at $49,510). In Québec, CEOs like Couche-Tard’s Alain Bouchard earn 403 times more what their employees make. There is a lot of money in Québec, but less and less of it ends up in workers’ pockets. Globally, permanent employees have seen their wages increase by only 0.5% compared to last year, when we were already at a historic low.

In closing, on behalf of all Bombardier workers in Québec, we can only hope that this saga ends as quickly as possible for the better and without having caused too much damage. Let us not forget that, beyond all the talk concerning executive compensation, we have workers who earn their living proudly building planes and trains here in Québec. The last thing that we want is for this story to end up affecting their jobs. As these workers’ union representatives, we shall continue to follow this situation closely and defend their rights.”