Cascade Aerospace, employees agree on new deal
Aug. 22, 2014, Abbotsford, B.C. - Unifor members at the Cascade Aerospace facility have ratified a settlement offer by a margin of 96%. Cascade workers have been off the job for 11 weeks to achieve greater job security and resist cuts to young workers' benefits.
"This strike was always about keeping good, stable jobs in Abbotsford, and our members achieved that," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "I'm very proud of our members' commitment to defending good jobs now, and for the future."
The new settlement offer includes significant wage increases, higher premiums for confined spaces work, and a written commitment to maintain Abbotsford as the primary heavy maintenance facility for RCAF C-130 aircraft.
"By sticking together, our members in Abbotsford showed a lot of courage and leadership. They showed that workers can make gains and reject the tired old refrain that 'good jobs are a thing of the past'," said Nate Shier, Unifor Local 114 Plant Chair at Cascade. "It was clear to us there would be no leadership from Abbotsford's MLAs or Member of Parliament, and that it was up to us to defend good jobs in our community."
Unifor represents 440 aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs), interior technicians, painters, stores, maintenance, planning clerks, sheet metal mechanics and other workers at the Abbotsford facility.
Last week two independent mediators—one from Eastern Canada where IMP Group is based and one from the West—made recommendations to find middle ground between the parties. Cascade Aerospace's owners, Halifax-based IMP Group, initially resisted the recommendations but have since agreed to binding arbitration on the last issues of disagreement.