VANCOUVER, June 13, 2014 /CNW/ - A judge has upheld the right of striking workers at Cascade Aerospace to picket their Abbotsford employer in a dispute over equal benefits for young workers.
"This judgement confirms workers have a legal right to establish picket lines across driveways at their job site and peacefully communicate the issues of the dispute," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC area director. "Regardless, the best route to ending this dispute is at the bargaining table, not in the courts. We will continue our legal picket line to protect the benefits of the next generation of Cascade employees."
Unifor Local 114 members at Cascade Aerospace have been on a legal strike since June 4. Two days into the strike, the company sought an injunction to restrict picket lines and prevent picketers from communicating with vehicles entering the worksite, but a judge dismissed the application.
"Thanks to Cascade Aerospace and IMP Group, we spent a week in court instead of a week at the bargaining table. I hope now we can get back to negotiations and end the strike with an agreement that benefits everyone," said McGarrigle.
Wednesday in Halifax, where Cascade Aerospace's owner IMP Group is based, supporters rallied to urge the company to get back the bargaining table and stop the use of back-up labourers on high tech aircraft.
The company has come under fire since the beginning of the strike for deploying back-up labourers to do the work of striking engineers and technicians. Concession bargaining and replacement workers are new aggressive tactics that have only been introduced since the purchase of Cascade Aerospace by Halifax-based IMP Group in 2012.
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. With more than 300,000 members, Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector.