In a move that will cost hundreds of Canadian aircraft fuelers their jobs, Air Canada this week walked away from long-term agreements with aviation fuel providers in Montreal and Toronto. When Air Canada was joined by West Jet, Air Transat and others, it meant the dismantling of the Canadian airline fuel consortium and the loss of hundreds of good-paying jobs.
“Consolidated Aviation Fueling informed me, that three years ago Air Canada signed a ten-year commitment, subject to senior Air Canada management approval, that Consolidated Aviation Fueling, would provide its fuel in Montreal,” said IAM District140 General Chairperson George Kuehnl. “Wednesday afternoon, representatives of Allied Aviation, Consolidated’s parent, informed members of IAM Local 2301 that 90 percent of their jobs would be terminated July 1st because Air Canada was switching to a non-union supplier – Swissport. Air Canada broke its promises and walked away.”
The Montreal-Toronto fuel consortium is the oldest and most experienced in the country, supplying Canada’s major airlines for more than fifty years of first class services. “We have members with as much as 47 years’ experience and now they’re faced with a job that has no pension, no benefits and near minimum wage,” said Michael Corrado, IAM District 140 General Chairperson. “Why do 300 people have to lose their jobs just so an airline can squeeze another dollar into their pockets? It’s another example of corporate greed.”
The IAM caught wind of Air Canada’s intentions as far back as mid-October 2014. In the first week of December the IAM filed a Common Employer Application and Unfair Labour Practices with the Canada Industrial Relations Board. “The IAM also asked the board for an interim order requesting the prevention of any tendering of contracts which would affect members’ jobs, until the board has reviewed the matter,” said IAM District Lodge 140 President and Directing General Chairperson Fred Hospes. “Maybe this will light a fire under the board to get moving on these applications.”