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Unifor calls on federal government to support De Havilland workers

image of Dash 8 aircraft
February 18, 2021 - 12:00 AM

February 18, 2021

TORONTO—Unifor urges immediate action from the federal government to protect jobs in Canada’s aerospace industry as De Havilland Canada announces it will leave the current Downsview production facility and suspend production of the Dash 8.

“Canada’s aerospace workers deserve better. We need the strongest possible government plan to support these economically vital jobs and protect our highly skilled aircraft manufacturing workers immediately,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Each day that passes without a comprehensive plan including significant government financial supports for Canada’s airlines and aerospace sectors means more unnecessary job losses, risks prolonging an economic recovery, and may do irreversible damage to our industrial capacity.”

The suspension of the Dash 8 program and facility exit will affect more than 700 members of Unifor Locals 112 and 673. The union remains deeply concerned with the company’s announcement that it will exit the facility without a firm relocation plan or a timeline to resume production.

Unifor released a comprehensive aerospace report last month detailing the union’s recovery plan for the industry in response to COVID-19. The report recommends the federal government immediately implement measures to support domestic aerospace manufacturing, including direct financial support that protects aerospace jobs and strengthens procurement policies using a “Buy Canadian” approach. Following the release of the report, the union engaged in its single largest lobbying effort to date, meeting with more than 100 Members of Parliament, Ministers and government staff to discuss the union’s recommendations and alert officials of looming production problems, including the Dash 8 production suspension.

Unifor continues to urge the federal government to support workers at the Downsview site by implementing Unifor’s economic recovery plan for Canada’s aerospace sector.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

To arrange interviews via Zoom, Skype or Facetime please contact Unifor Communications Representative David Molenhuis at david.molenhuis@unifor.org or 416-575-7453 (cell).