Machinists Call for Canadian Air Transport Policy

The IAM is calling on all four federal political leaders in Canada to commit to a Canadian Air Transport Policy.

“The leading principle for Canada in any international air transport negotiations must be the maintenance of a strong Canadian-owned and based air transport industry,” said IAM Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie in a letter to each federal party leader. “A strong Canadian Air Transport Policy would ensure safety and service to Canadian communities and the maintenance and expansion of high quality employment in Canada. We’re asking for a public commitment from every federal party leader to that principle.”

The letter follows recent action by the federal government to protect the Canadian air transport industry and Canadian jobs by refusing access to the Canadian market to the air carriers of the United Arab Emirates. The government recognized that bowing to the UAE government demands would have seriously damaged Canadian carriers, in particular Air Canada, through the diversion of international traffic through the Dubai hub.

“We publicly applaud this action,” said Ritchie. “This appears to represent a shift in government policy from blind adherence to free market ideology to recognition of the importance of Canadian industries and jobs in this important sector.”