Pratt & Whitney have announced that they will invest close to $1 billion in research and development over the next four and a half years. This investment is made possible in part by funding from the federal government in the form of a repayable contribution of $300 million.
“There’s no question that we welcome this type of announcement, this investment will provide much needed stability for workers in the aerospace industry,” said Camille Larochelle, unit chair for Pratt & Whitney at Unifor local 510.
Unifor reaffirms the need for a policy for the aerospace industry to insure the strength and vitality of the industry which plays an important role in Quebec’s economy. The union has developed a series of proposed measures that would increase the stability of aerospace companies and jobs in the sector.
“While we don’t want to minimize the importance of Pratt & Whitney’s announcement, we believe that a concrete strategy needs to be put in place to support manufacturing in Quebec, including in the aerospace industry,” said Sylvain Martin, Assistant to the Quebec Director.
Martin also pointed to the importance of research in natural resources, pointing to the constant race within the industry to discover new materials that are lightweight and durable. Unifor argues that it is important for the Quebec government to ensure that management of its natural resources are aimed at sustaining manufacturing within the province.
Unifor also notes that the investment at Pratt & Whitney should be tied to employment. “It’s important to know where this money will be directed,” said Larochelle. “As new projects and products are developed, we should see that investment turned in to new jobs here in our community.”