Aveos employees seek assistance from opposition
By Brian Dunn
March 21, 2012, Quebec City - A number of busloads of laid off Aveos Fleet Performance workers headed to Quebec City Wednesday morning to plead their case before opposition party members in the Quebec National Assembly.
By Brian Dunn
They were also hoping to meet with premier Jean Charest to argue that Air Canada breached its contract with Aveos.
The 75-year old company laid off 2,628 employees across Canada Tuesday, including 1,800 in Montreal after announcing its insolvency and has begun the process of liquidating assets.
The move came on the same day Quebec introduced its 2012-13 budget and only one day after the company requested protection from creditors. The insolvency heated up the war of words between Aveos and Air Canada, which accounts for more than 85 per cent of its revenues.
In a statement, Aveos blasted Air Canada for “the devastating blow” it received when the carrier did not deliver aircraft-repair business Aveos had expected. Aveos's board chairman Eugene I. Davis scorned the “11th-hour offer” of $15 million submitted Monday by Air Canada
The offer followed "months of protracted negotiations (and) did not appropriately address Aveos's challenges, and it was clear that a restructuring under the CCAA would not be possible. Their draft proposal received late (Monday) evening did nothing to address the many issues previously discussed with them, and was unacceptable to us and our secured lenders.
In its own statement, Air Canada said it was disappointed at “Aveos Fleet Performance Inc.'s (Aveos) decision to reject its offer of $15 million in emergency financing and instead permanently cease operations.
“Air Canada believes that Aveos has failed to act in the interests of its employees, customers and other stakeholders by abruptly abandoning its business while other viable options to closure were available. Management at Aveos has failed repeatedly to attract new business to expand and diversify its revenue stream. By its own admission in court filings, the company is not cost competitive and has suffered operating losses for several years.”
To ensure “its customers are not inconvenienced and are able to continue traveling and booking Air Canada with confidence,” the airline said will enact its contingency plan to make sure “maintenance work continues in full compliance with all regulatory requirements and is consistent with the high standards of Air Canada's maintenance programs.”