Aerospace engineers, technician on strike in B.C.

Union fears defence contractor will replace skilled technicians with replacement workers.

0 June 4, 2014
by Canadian Press

14-May-Cascase-Aerospace-strike-625ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — More than 400 workers at an aerospace company based in Abbotsford, B.C., are on strike to fight what their union says are rollbacks of benefits and other concessions.

Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s director for B.C., says the union has no intention of accepting concessions from a company as profitable as Cascade Aerospace.

McGarrigle has said he’s concerned that in the event of a strike, the company will bring in replacement workers to perform work normally done by skilled engineers and technicians.

Workers include aircraft maintenance engineers, interior technicians, painters, maintenance, planning clerks and sheet metal mechanics. Cascade Aerospace is owned by the Halifax-based IMP group.

It is the main Department of National Defence contractor for repair and overhaul on the Hercules aircraft heavy transport fleet. It also repairs commercial aircraft for firms such as Canjet.

Workers at the plant voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike earlier this month to push for a new contract to replace one that expired on March 30.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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