Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Workers protest job losses at Quebec legislature

Aveos an aircraft maintenance and repair company is liquidating the company with the loss of 1800 jobs in Montreal alone. There are branches in Vancouver and Winnipeg as well.

Workers from the Montreal plant are massing at Quebec province's national assembly in Quebec city. They are requesting the government to take legal action to save their jobs.

A union representative said:."It's a mood of desolation," "It's like having another big slap in the face…. Yesterday we had the bad news that Aveos is finally bankrupt, and it's gonna be liquidated. So what does it say to us? It says everybody is out of a job. But you know, we're talking about 1,800 jobs in Quebec, and around 3,000 for the rest of the country.""

The union blames Air Canada for the situation. Originally Aveos was a company that was part of Air Canada itself. Some time after being privatized Air Canada hived off its maintenance to the new company Aveos with many former workers employed there. No doubt to save money. Now it seems that Air Canada is finding even cheaper places to have maintenance done such as China. As a result the company is cutting Aveos out of its maintenance program which was 90 per cent of Aveos work.

Air Canada offered 15 million to keep the company going according to company officials. Aveos too blamed Air Canada for its troubles. A company statement said:"Since the beginning of the year, [Aveos's] principal customer reduced, deferred and cancelled maintenance work, which resulted in approximately $16 million in lost revenue in less than two months,""While Aveos remained ready, willing and able to perform such work, such work did not materialize. This was a devastating blow to Aveos." No doubt Air Canada hoped to switch over to cheaper maintenance operators for some time but did not expect this sudden public relations disaster to be added to its labor problems.

Pilots for Air Canada have been calling in sick. The company planned to lock the pilots out but the government stepped in and now has back to work legislation ready. Cargo handlers and ground crews were also set to strike. No sign of any end to the turbulence. For more see this article.

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