December 13, 2017
The Machinists union reacts to recent purchase by the Canadian gouverment of 18 CF-18's from Australia.
Montreal, December 12, 2017- The purchase of 18 CF-18 used fighter aircraft from Australia will provide work to the L-3 Communication workers in Mirabel. In addition to the 150 unionized employees, approximately 400 to 500 workers and a group of Canadian military personnel are already working on Canadian CF-18s. "Our members at L-3 Comm have the expertise to deal with the maintenance, repair and modification of CF-18s that the Canadian government has just acquired," said the representative of the Machinists union, Stéphane Paré who is chief steward of the shop committee at L-3 Comm. The expertise, rigour and professionalism of these aerospace workers have already allowed Canada to extend the life of its CF-18s from 2003 to 2025. So it makes sense that the maintenance of these devices will come back to us and that is good news.
This situation is temporary, however, since the deadlines set out in the new call for tenders are from 2025 onward. The new aircraft will start replacing the CF-18s. "Minimally, the vacuum left by the replacement of the CF-18s will have to be filled. In addition to looking for a good product, guarantees will have to be obtained so that the maintenance work and even the construction of these 88 planes are carried out here. The Trudeau government will also have to negotiate in order to obtain intellectual property rights to facilitate the maintenance and updating of its new aircraft. This is the kind of guarantee that should always be part of the winning conditions to hope to win contracts with our governments", says Paré.
The Machinists ' Union (IAMAW) represents approximately 650 000 members across North America. With its 150 000 members in the air and aerospace industry (16 000 in Canada), Iamaw is the world's largest trade union in the aerospace industry. In Quebec, the Union has 15 000 members and in Canada, more than 50 000 members.