ABBOTSFORD, BC, June 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Instead of using replacement workers, Unifor is calling on Cascade Aerospace to get back to the bargaining table to negotiate job security for the more than 400 workers on strike. Contrary to the company's claims, back-up labourers have been shipped in to do the work of striking technicians and engineers.
"Replacement workers will only prolong the production delays at Cascade," said Gavin McGarrigle, BC Area Director for Unifor, the union representing the workers at Cascade. "The fastest way to end the Cascade dispute is to bargain the job security that highly-skilled Abbotsford workers deserve."
Ben Boem, vice-president and Cascade's Chief Operations Officer has said publicly that the company will not use replacement workers during the strike.
On Saturday, at least 10 workers wearing CanJet gear were bussed across picket lines. Halifax-based IMP Group owns both Cascade Aerospace and CanJet.
"We're concerned that Cascade would attempt to mislead the public and their customers about who is performing the repairs," said McGarrigle.
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.