Cascade Aerospace workers on verge of strike
May 30, 2014, Abbotsford, B.C. - Unifor has served 72-hour notice of legal job action on behalf of its 440 members at Cascade Aerospace late yesterday. A strike will commence if agreement on the outstanding issues cannot be reached by Wednesday, June 4 at 11 a.m.
A strike by Unifor members at the Abbotsford plant will bring work to a halt and impact important customers and the local economy.
"Our bargaining committee has made every attempt to reach a fair agreement over months of negotiations," said Nate Shier, Plant Chairperson for Unifor Local 114. "We will simply not accept massive concessions at a company as profitable as Cascade."
This is the first round of bargaining under the new ownership of Halifax-based IMP Group. In the last round of bargaining, Cascade workers were able to bargain an agreement without even taking a strike vote. Unifor Local 114's current agreement expired on March 30, 2014 and this time the workers voted 98% in favour of strike action on May 13, 2014.
"The IMP approach at Cascade Aerospace is the same story we see from far too many greedy employers today – they acquire new companies, reap rewards from the skilled workers, and then demand massive concessions," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC Area Director. "Skilled aerospace workers are in high demand. Treating them unfairly while rolling back benefits will only cause conflict that disrupts production," he added.
Abbotsford-based Cascade Aerospace is the primary DND contractor for repair and overhaul on the DND Hercules heavy transport plane fleet covering the Lockheed Martin C130 E, H and the new J models. The Unifor workers also help the firm repair commercial aircraft for firms such as CanJet and Lynden Air Cargo and are currently working on two Lockheed Martin C130 cargo planes for the Mexican government.
Unifor Local 114 represents a bargaining unit of 440 workers at Cascade Aerospace, including aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs), interior technicians, painters, stores, maintenance, planning clerks and sheet metal mechanics.