Members of Unifor locals 112 and 673 at De Havilland Aircraft Canada voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action if a fair settlement is not reached in ongoing negotiations with the company.
“A strong strike mandate is crucial to ensuring our negotiations are successful,” said Scott McIlmoyle Unifor Local 112 President, which represents 165 active De Havilland workers at the plant. “With a 97 per cent result, our members have made it clear to the company that they stand firmly behind our bargaining committee and the proposals put forward by the membership.”
Local 112 members, both production and skilled trades workers at the plant, voted 97 per cent in favour of a strike mandate while Local 673 office and professional workers voted 94 per cent in favour.
Prior to the opening of negotiations with De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, the company officially announced in February plans to suspend production of the iconic Dash 8 programme and vacate the current production location at the Downsview site in Toronto. De Havilland cited the industry’s pandemic-related downturn as the reason for the production suspension and early exit of the Downsview site prior to its lease expiry.
The company’s announcement came just two weeks after Unifor completed its largest federal government lobbying effort to date in support of the union’s comprehensive recovery strategy for Canada’s aerospace industry. The plan called on the federal government to immediately implement broad measures that support domestic aerospace manufacturing, including direct financial support that protects aerospace jobs and strengthens procurement policies using a “Buy Canadian” approach. The union reiterated that call, urging the federal government to immediately adopt the union’s plan to support De Havilland workers and protect jobs.
“The overwhelming solidarity of our membership is what makes us successful at the bargaining table,” said Maryellen McIlmoyle, Unifor Local 673 President, which represents 110 active office workers at the De Havilland. “There’s also a clear role for the Ontario and federal governments to play here. Our elected representatives can’t be asleep at the wheel while good aerospace jobs are at stake.”
The current collective agreement with De Havilland Aircraft expires on June 22, 2021 at midnight.