Aveos workers react to bankruptcy news
By Brian Dunn
March 19, 2012, Montreal - Fearing a loss of their jobs, about 200 aircraft maintenance workers from Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. blocked traffic Monday morning to and from Air Canada's head office in Montreal. The firm has about 1,800 employees in Montreal who found the company’s doors locked when the reported to work this morning as Aveos filed for bankruptcy protection Monday in Quebec Superior Court.
By Brian Dunn
A few kilometres away, another group of laid-off workers was blocking an Aveos building.
Aveos announced Sunday it is shuttering three plants in Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver affecting 2,400 workers. Notices posted by Aveos on Sunday merely said the company is no longer “performing airframe maintenance.”
Just before 9 a.m. Monday, several Air Canada head office employees who tried to walk through the crowd of protesters were turned back. They were escorted away by Montreal police who had been called to the scene to maintain order. Aveos was formerly owned by Air Canada and was sold off in 2004 during restructuring, but still accounts for about 85 per cent of its revenues. This company was then sold to a consortium of private investors in 2007 and subsequently changed its name to Aveos in 2008.
Air Canada said in a news release Monday the shutdown of Aveos and its application for insolvency protection was disappointing, but that it doesn't affect the general maintenance of Air Canada's fleet.
“The airline’s line maintenance has always been performed directly by Air Canada, at the airline’s own facilities by Air Canada’s 2,300 maintenance employees. The airline typically performs its line maintenance activities overnight or between flights, as necessary,” the release said.
It added that Aveos has been providing Air Canada with airframe, engine and component work which, in the case of scheduled maintenance checks, is pre-planned. The airline is prepared with a contingency plan to ensure continuity of this work and that it will continue to be performed in compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements. Should Aveos not be in a position to perform work, the airline is prepared to make arrangements with a number of other service providers, located primarily in the United States and Canada, with whom Air Canada has longstanding relationships.
Air Canada said it has been supportive of Aveos through various means and has been meeting all of its financial and legal obligations of its contractual arrangements with Aveos according to the terms of its commercial agreements.