Aerospace workers call for industry-wide COVID-19 recovery plan

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An Air Canada Express plane takes off.

January 25, 2021

TORONTO—Today, Unifor’s Aerospace Industry Council released a new policy paper urging the federal government to immediately implement a substantial recovery plan for the sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating economic effects.

“With the chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government must live up to its responsibility to protect the viability of Canada’s aerospace industry,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Much of the world’s aircraft fleets remain grounded and order books are going unfilled. We need policies implemented now to ensure the fastest possible recovery so this industry survives and its highly-skilled workers have a secure future.”

Unifor’s policy paper entitled Preventing a Tailspin: A Response to the COVID-19 Crisis for Canada’s Aerospace Industry proposes a twelve-point action plan to protect members’ job security and the viability of the sector. Key recommendations include committing to a formal long-term industrial strategy, adopting ‘Buy Canadian’ policies, research and development funding, and improvements to the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy, among others.

“Our members are hard-working and deeply committed to the success of this vital sector. More importantly, they know exactly what the industry needs to weather the pandemic’s worst effects,” said Alexandre Lamarre, Unifor Aerospace Industry Council President. “We’re taking our plan directly to Ottawa so politicians understand how much our economy needs a strong aerospace sector to overcome the current economic crisis now and meet our needs in the future.”

Unifor members are scheduled to present the report’s recommendations to more than 70 Members of Parliament and government decision-makers as part of the Aerospace Industry Council’s virtual lobby week beginning today.

Unifor represents more than 11,000 aerospace workers across Canada performing highly specialized jobs in diverse workplaces and sub-industries including commercial, military and space exploration. 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 @email or 416-575-7453 (cell).