December 14, 2017
Machinists' Union (IAMAW)
Montreal, December 13, 2017 9:22 PM - Many journalists have contacted us in the last few hours to obtain some explanations about our absence from activities related to the visit to Montreal from the Union Unite the Union of the United Kingdom. Questions were related to the meeting between Unite, Alain Bellemare, CEO of Bombardier and Unifor as well as the statements made to the media about the future of jobs in the aerospace sector, and the C-Series.
To answer all the questions raised and to put things in perspective, we will update you with new information, accompanied by a summary of our actions of the last months.
On the one hand, it should be noted that a second meeting was to be held at the Bombardier plant in Mirabel between the representatives of the three unions. The latter had to be canceled urgently at the last minute. Unite's representatives had to rush to Washington for a chance to speak to US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. However, we are planning to soon discuss different issues with our brothers and sisters from Unite, with whom we already have a very good collaboration. On the other hand, no discussion between the Machinists' Union and Alain Bellemare was scheduled today. As the principal representatives of Bombardier workers, we have already had several meetings with management on all the topics discussed by the Unite delegation and Unifor representatives.
Back to events: C-Series, Boeing Airbus, etc...
As soon as Boeing filed its complaint against Bombardier, we spoke out against its dangerous and protectionist nature. On September 26th, following the DOC's preliminary decision to impose a 220% countervailing duty on C-Series sales in the United States, our organization strongly denounced this absurd and arbitrary judgment across the media. The same was true of the preliminary DOC decision on the anti-dumping duty of 79.82%, which came shortly thereafter. Each time, we have also asked the two levels of government and all the federal and provincial elected representatives to unite and stand up for the defense of aerospace workers. We proposed solutions and asked that pressure be exerted on Boeing in particular regarding the purchase agreement for the F-18 Super Hornets. In this regard, we learned yesterday that Ottawa was changing its rules on bidding for the renewal of the fighter fleet by penalizing any bidder that would harm the economic interests of the country. Interventions also took place to demand the improvement of the settlement mechanisms of the various commercial between countries, especially within NAFTA. In addition, to defend aerospace workers in Quebec, we launched the "We All Stand Proud" campaign in mid-October.
Aiming first to denounce the protectionist behavior of the US President and the attitude of Boeing's leaders, this campaign will reappear with new actions to be unveiled in 2018.
In the case of the acquisition of the C-Series by Airbus, we have already begun to prepare for securing and promoting the protection of the jobs and conditions of aerospace workers. During the visit to Mirabel by Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus and Fabrice Brégier, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, we took the opportunity to have a good discussion with them.
We will continue to do our work for all aerospace workers. In North America, we represent 650,000 workers from all walks of life. With a total of 150,000 sisters and brothers in the airline and aerospace industry (16,000 in Canada), we are the largest aerospace union in the world. In Quebec, there are 15,000 Machinists active in major companies such as Bombardier, Rolls Royce, Héroux-Devtek, Messier Bugatti Dowty, L3-COM, AJ-Walter, Air Canada, Air Transat and Siemens. We are constantly placing the interests of workers and of all citizens at the center of our concerns and we will continue to do so.