Statement of the IAMAW on the decision by Bombardier’s senior executives to put off their pay increases

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Press Release For Immediate release

Statement of the IAMAW on the decision by Bombardier’s senior executives to put off their pay increases

The IAMAW welcomes the openness and flexibility demonstrated by Bombardier’s senior executives regarding the readjustments that were announced to their pay increases.
“Of course, we welcome the decision. It demonstrates that the population of Quebec can have an influence when it mobilizes itself. Now, whether or not the initiative is sufficient, I cannot speak on behalf of all Quebeckers, but for our part, this demonstration of openness is reassuring even though the pay increases have not been cancelled but only postponed. By the same token, Bombardier’s tree should not hide the rest of the forest from view when it comes to the remuneration of the senior executives of large corporations. In Canada, the average business leader is paid 193 times more than the average worker who earns $49,510 a year. It takes an executive only a few days at the beginning of each year to earn more than what most of their plant workers earn in that entire year. We need to continue to advocate for a fairer distribution of wealth and this story is yet another example that demonstrates how severe the problem is and how important the battles waged by unions are,” explains David Chartrand, IAMAW Quebec coordinator.

It should also be remembered that the government has a share of the responsibility in this matter seeing as it did not negotiate specific clauses once the decision was made to provide Bombardier with financial assistance.

“The agreement should have included employment guarantees as well as guarantees providing that the money would only be used to advance Bombardier’s operations in Quebec. Delocalization represents an economic drag that hurts our workers, our economy and our entire industry. Bombardier did not spare us its share of delocalization. We would have liked to see the Quebec government be proactive in this regard when it negotiated its agreement with Bombardier. Once this storm is behind us, we’ll need to start searching for solutions to prevent this type of situation from repeating itself elsewhere. In this regard, we call upon our elected officials to favour the implementation of a widespread industrial policy containing a section dealing specifically with aerospace. It is in such a policy that clear and transparent benchmarks could be set to better regulate corporate funding mechanisms and prevent agreements from being negotiated on a case-by-case basis,” upholds the IAMAW’s spokesperson.

Finally, the union pays particular attention to the declarations made in the media by Bombardier president and CEO, Alain Bellemare.

“Alain Bellemare stated in interviews given this morning to various media outlets that his remuneration as well as the remuneration of the other senior executives at cause depended on the company’s performance. He added that if Bombardier generated the expected results, jobs would be created here and the spinoffs would benefit all of Quebec. We are satisfied to learn that Mr. Bellemare and Bombardier’s executive team intend to reward all of the actors responsible for the company’s success once results are obtained. We take good note of this declaration,” concludes Mr. Chartrand.