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Machinists’ union files for conciliation with Aveos

March 12, 2012, Montreal - A union that represents 2,700 employees at Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. has filed for conciliation after talks with the Air Canada spinoff reached an impasse.


March 12, 2012
By The Canadian Press

The union says the former Air Canada Technical Services division appears to have stopped making required contributions to the employee pension plan.

It also says Air Canada has moved work out of Aveos facilities and is sub-contracting out work to other maintenance providers.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents maintenance and overhaul workers at Aveos as well as Air Canada's mechanics, baggage handlers and ramp personnel.

The IAM had been on the verge of going on strike against Air Canada after the two sides failed to reach a contract agreement but was prevented from doing so by the federal labour minister.

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Fred Hospes, chairman of the IAWAW District 140 Western Region, says its members at Aveos "are mad as hell.''

Air Canada employees who transferred to Aveos after the airline sold the division were told they would have gainful employment the company is attempting to lay off hundreds of aircraft maintenance workers across the country, Hospes said.

The union also says Aveos has negotiated with a new benefit service provider with benefits levels below what's included in the last collective agreement.

Aveos spokeswoman Daniela Pizzuto declined to comment on financial difficulties facing the company or its efforts to address those challenges.

In 2010, the company reached agreement with its lenders to reduce its debt to $75 million from about $800 million.