Machinists seeking Canadian Air Transport Policy
Nov. 30, 2010, Toronto - The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have asked all four federal political leaders to commit to a Canadian Air Transport Policy.
“The leading principle for Canada in any international air transport negotiations must be the maintenance of a strong Canadian-owned and based air transport industry,” said IAMAW Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie in a letter to each federal party leader. “A strong Canadian Air Transport Policy would ensure safety and service to Canadian communities and the maintenance and expansion of high quality employment in Canada. We’re asking for a public commitment from every federal party leader to that principle.”
The letter follows recent action by the federal government to protect the Canadian air transport industry and Canadian jobs by refusing access to the Canadian market to the air carriers of the United Arab Emirates. The government recognized that bowing to the UAE government demands would have seriously damaged Canadian carriers, in particular Air Canada, through the diversion of international traffic through the Dubai hub.
“We publicly applauded this action,” said Ritchie. “This appears to represent a shift in government policy from blind adherence to free market ideology to recognition of the importance of Canadian industries and jobs in this important sector.”
In the letter, the IAMAW also asked the leaders to support its call for active formal involvement in ongoing and future negotiations by all unions representing workers in this sector.
The IAMAW is the largest union in the Canadian air transport sector representing more than 18,000 workers.