IAMAW Canada – Federal Government Should “Absolutely” Support Canada’s Airlines

Federal Government Should “Absolutely” Support Canada’s Airlines

Federal Government Should “Absolutely” Support Canada’s Airlines

October 2, 2020 – “The Federal Government should absolutely support Canada’s airline and air transportation industry!” This was the unequivocal statement of Stan Pickthall, Canadian General Vice President of the Machinists Union (IAM). “This is a position we have taken throughout the pandemic, and one that we have published in two releases on our website.”

Pickthall applauds the recent addition of other Airline Unions who are now taking strong positions on this campaign. “Most of the major Unions representing workers in air transportation are now backing the call for assistance to be provided to the airlines and air transportation companies, who have been devastated beyond belief by this pandemic. Together we are stronger!”

“Air Canada alone lost in excess of $1 Billion in the second quarter of 2020, and the news will soon come out for Q3 – which looks like it will be much the same. Without much-needed Federal assistance for this industry, we could soon be facing bankruptcies by even the major players.”

However, the IAM says that Government assistance must provide assurances to protect workers in Canada’s air transportation industry. Specifically, it must be conditional upon an employer plan and commitment to make the protection and creation of jobs a condition of the loan.  “Any Federal funds to airlines must not be used for executive compensation and bonuses,” stated Pickthall. “We have played that movie before, and we do not support bailouts for executives.”

Air Canada alone has laid off in excess of 20,000 employees, many of whom are IAM Union members. The IAM has seen furloughs of almost half its membership at Air Canada over recent months after the Company discontinued the federal wage subsidy (CEWS) program among its unionized employees.

“Corporations must have a plan that protects the jobs and salaries of workers; this plan must have as its goal the return to work of their entire workforce.” Pickthall concluded.

The IAM is the largest Union representing almost 20,000 workers at Airlines and Air Transportation across the country. The IAM has posted numerous and regular communications to its membership over the past six months – many of which are in response to the COVID Pandemic and the economic impacts on workers.

For more information: http://www.iamaw.ca/covid-19-news/


Media Contact:
Frank Saptel; Stan Pickthall.  416-386-1789

IAMAW Canada – Crisis in Air transport and Aerospace – The federal government must not underestimate what is happening

Crisis in Air transport and Aerospace – The federal government must not underestimate what is happening

Crisis in Air transport and Aerospace - The federal government must not underestimate what is happening

Montreal, September 30th, 2020- Air transport and Aerospace are among the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, tens of thousands of jobs and the survival of many businesses are at stake. The crisis that is simultaneously hitting these two sectors deserves the attention of a parliamentary committee

“A perfect storm is hitting both industries,” says David Chartrand, Quebec coordinator of the Machinists’ Union. For several months now, we have been intervening in the public space to call for federal intervention and nothing is moving. If the Trudeau government is still not convinced of what it should do, give a parliamentary committee a mandate to look into it and invite us to testify. »

Two sectors hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic

The International Air Transport Association reports a 55% drop in international passenger transport in 2020. Montreal Airports expects passenger volume to decline by 71% compared to 2019. For the first six months of 2020, Toronto Pearson Airport recorded a 58% decrease from last year.
In addition to being economically important, air transportation is essential to serving certain regions of Canada. By March 2020, the sector accounted for 241,000 direct jobs in the country. Limited in their operations, airlines are in a difficult situation and are increasing layoffs.

“If the situation doesn’t allow airlines to fly, they need to be given the means to survive,” says Chartrand. Workers on temporary layoffs, are not on a shelf waiting to be called, they have families to feed. The federal government has to act, the problem will not be resolved on its own. »

For the aerospace industry, an AIAC survey released last June found that more than 95% of its members are operating at a fraction of their full capacity or have shut down altogether. More than half (60%) laid off workers and 76% plan to do so over the next six months. Overall, the AIAC members expect sales to decline by 40% in 2020.

” As the two sectors are linked, the paralysis of air transport has significant impacts on aerospace” says the spokesperson of the Machinists’ Union. The current situation is putting enormous pressure on the Canadian aerospace sector. Not only are carriers not scrambling to place orders, but they are in no hurry to take possession of existing orders and it could become dangerous if they defer orders. The worst is to be expected in the coming months if the Trudeau government is not proactive. »

Elsewhere in the world, many countries have already made considerable efforts to support air transport and aerospace.
“We need an emergency plan to get through the crisis and plan for the after-COVID-19. Industry stakeholders need to be able to discuss this with federal elected officials in order for this plan to be effective. If we do nothing, what we lose will go elsewhere and not come back,” concludes David Chartrand.

The Quebec government is already in action

Aware that aerospace is a strategic economic sector, the Quebec government announced last May that it would update Quebec’s aerospace strategy and that industry players would be consulted. Representatives of the Machinists’ Union will participate in the consultations.


David Chartrand
Coordonnateur Québécois
Quebec Coordinator
Bur: 514-956-1578 | Cell: 514-231-9100
Courriel: dchartrand@iamaw.org
Site web: http://www.iamaw.ca

Association Internationale des Machinistes et des travailleurs de l’Aérospatiale

IAMAW Canada – Feds Must Support Air Transportation Now!

Feds Must Support Air Transportation Now!

Feds Must Support Air Transportation Now!

In this week’s Throne Speech the federal government announced they would be providing “further support” for industries that have been the hardest hit, including travel and tourism.

“Covid-19 has devastated our members and their families, particularly in the transportation industry. We need more than just talk of support. We need action, and we need it now.” That was the response from IAM Air Transportation Coordinator Keith Aiken.

Also announced this week is a Federal Government plan to support airlines as they work to re-launch routes between smaller regional centres and connections to larger cities. Airports in some of the regional centers were closed early into the Covid – 19 pandemic as travel declined.

Said IAM General Vice-President Stan Pickthall: “We welcome any support the Federal Government can provide to get our transportation industry kick-started. Families living in the regional centers demand and deserve service. Air Transportation is essential to the health and welfare of these communities, and IAM members that work at these airports need to get back to work.”

The IAM is calling on the government to provide a comprehensive aid package to the Air Transportation and Aerospace industries in Canada to protect rural Canadians and save industries that are integral to the economic engine of this country. “We need the federal government to act now to save this industry and protect thousands of good jobs!” Added Pickthall.

Canada’s Airline industry has been devastated by Covid-19. Air Canada has reported a loss of $1.75 billion in the 2nd quarter of 2020, with a 95% drop in passenger revenue. The Company carried 480,000 passengers vs. 12.8 million during the same period in 2019 (96% drop). In the last few months, Air Canada retired 30% of its fleet, as they lose 22 million dollars per day.

“And it’s not only the airlines that are hurting; associate businesses like airports, our IAM airport service groups, catering, fueling, hotels, car rental agencies, and many surrounding businesses have all felt the pain of this pandemic.” Said Aiken.

“The IAM has lobbied at all levels of government and with all employers,” added Pickthall. “We have demanded improvements to social programs like CEWS and CERB, and we have urged all employers to participate in the programs that will benefit IAM members the most. We are going to turn the corner on this pandemic and we are going to start with our economic recovery. Employers – including airlines and airport service companies – are going to be relying upon the return of a healthy and skilled workforce to rebuild their businesses.”

The IAM is the largest union in air transportation in Canada.

Keith Aiken: (416) 346-4593
Frank Saptel: (416) 386-1789