Statement from the International Association of Machinists and workers of the aerospace (IAMAW) about the situation at Bombardier

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Press Release For

Immediate release

MONTREAL, April 2, 2017- the IAMAW has let its position be known concerning the wage increases of Bombardier’s leadership since their announcement last Wednesday. We reiterate that we will express our displeasure to the representatives of the company in due time during the next rounds of negotiations.

“Following the publics expressions of anger, after the indignation, we must act so that this problem does not recur,” said IAMAW Quebec Coordinator David Chartrand. “We must not let our frustration take over and throw the baby out with the bath water”. We must make the jewel that is the aerospace industry a real collective project, which will be beneficial to society as a whole. With more than 40 000 good jobs, representing 80% of the exports of the province, the best manpower in the world and a sector that stimulates the development of new technologies, the aerospace industry is a key player in the economy of Quebec and Canada. Whether we like it or not, Bombardier is the locomotive of the aerospace cluster in Quebec. This cluster is composed of more than 200 companies as well as professional and proud workers who devote themselves body and soul so that Quebec remains among the leaders of this industry. “We must not let our anger towards the leaders of Bombardier make us forget these facts,” added Chartrand.


A long-term political solution to address the problem

Our Union has been campaigning for the Provincial Government and the industry to establish an Aerospace policy for over 20 years; a policy, which would set clear rules that, would prevent this kind of situation so it could not occur again.

“The Liberal government has committed errors when it gave its financial assistance to Bombardier without imposing the necessary conditions as to how the funds were to be used,” said Chartrand “To avoid this kind of situation, it is more and more urgent that the government leans on a broad industrial policy in which there would be a section dedicated to the aerospace industry. It must act to better regulate the modes and rules of financing such as the granting of subsidies or grants and not just go on a case-by-case basis. We could for example, in a situation where a business must be rescued from bankruptcy, require a framework that would guarantee jobs or a certain level of employment in exchange of the financial assistance, also put in place measures to counter the relocation of work and guarantees for the development of infrastructure on Quebec soil,”

“This of course,” adds Chartrand, “could be done in a systematic way. It has been 20 years that the IAMAW has been fighting for an initiative of this kind in order to consolidate our economy, our society and our industries. Today, we have proof once again of the relevance of such measures. Montreal is the third capital in the world in the aerospace sector, the time has come for our governments to develop a coherent policy in order to bring us to another level,” concludes Mr. Chartrand.

Please take note that for reasons of availability and scheduling conflict, no interviews will be offered before April 3.

The IAMAW represents 15 000 members in Quebec, and more than 50 000 in Canada, including 16 000 in the airline industry and aerospace.

It is the worlds most important union in the aviation industry.

Through North America, it represents over 700 000 members.