ABBOTSFORD, BC, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - A "young staffing company" operated out of the home of Dale Taylor (416-677-2277, firstname.lastname@example.org) is flying back-up labourers to Abbotsford, BC to cross the picket line at Cascade Aerospace. Workers at Cascade are on strike over equal benefits for young workers.
"Replacement workers will prolong the Cascade dispute and who knows what their qualifications are," said Dawn Cartwright, Unifor's Director of Aerospace. "MDM Aero Contract and any contractors that it employs will not be welcome at Unifor aerospace facilities for helping Cascade to try to break this strike."
Unifor's aerospace division has sent a letter to the leadership of thousands of workers at aerospace plants in Canada advising them to terminate contracts with MDM Aero Contract.
Instead of using replacement workers, Unifor is calling on Cascade Aerospace to get back to the bargaining table, retract concessions, and negotiate reasonable job security for the Abbotsford employees. A major sticking point in negotiations is Cascade's insistence on lower benefits for new hires.
"It's sad and more than a little ironic that a young person in Ontario is actively helping Cascade dismantle employment benefits for young workers," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC area director. "We're on strike to protect good jobs in Abbotsford, and MDM Aero Contract is actively undermining that by recruiting workers to cross the picket line."
Ben Boehm, vice-president and Cascade's chief operations officer has said publicly before the strike that the company will not use replacement workers.
Unifor Local 114 members at Cascade Aerospace have been on a legal strike since June 4. Unifor represents 440 aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs), interior technicians, painters, stores, maintenance, planning clerks, sheet metal mechanics and other workers at the Abbotsford facility.
Cascade Aerospace is the primary DND contractor for repair and overhaul on the Hercules heavy transport plane fleet covering the Lockheed Martin C130 E, H and the new J models. The Unifor workers also help the firm repair commercial aircraft for firms such as CanJet and Lynden Air Cargo and are currently working on two Lockheed Martin C130 cargo planes for the Mexican government.
Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged. Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, with more than 305,000 members including over 10,000 working in the Aerospace industry.