Canadian Parliament Votes Against Protecting IAM Aircraft Maintenance Jobs

The Canadian House of Commons passed bill C-10, changing the Air Canada Public Participation Act to allow the carrier to send Canadian aircraft overhaul and maintenance jobs out of the country. The IAM will lobby the Senate to protect the jobs.

Despite testimony from a 22-member IAM delegation illuminating the job-loss dangers of a proposed revision to the Air Canada Public Participation Act, the Canadian House of Commons passed Bill C-10 without amendment. The legislation moves to the Senate for consideration.

“C-10 changes the Air Canada Public Participation Act to allow Air Canada to change the type and volume of any or all of its aircraft maintenance work as well as the level of employment,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Stan Pickthall. “This gives Air Canada a Free Pass without protecting the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) industry in Canada.”

Prior to the House vote, the IAM urged legislators on a parliamentary transportation committee to make sure the bill would ensure the survival and growth of the MRO industry. The committee sent the bill to the floor without amendment and it passed 170-136.

“Under the current act, Air Canada is required to perform aircraft heavy maintenance in Winnipeg, Mississauga and Montreal but it broke the law and conducted this work outside of the country,” said Pickthall. “Now this government is about to change the law so Air Canada won’t have to break it and the government won’t have to enforce it.”

The IAM, the largest union at Air Canada, intends to lobby the Senate in the coming weeks, to ensure that amendments to the Bill are added to protect the MRO industry in Canada.