IAM Canadian General Vice-President Dave Ritchie and 120 other Canadian labour leaders met with new Canadian Prime minister, Justin Trudeau as part of the Canadian Labour Congress’ Canadian Council, a democratically elected group that governs the CLC between its national conventions.
Ritchie met briefly with Trudeau to talk about, among other things, investment in an industry ignored by the previous Conservative government. The conversation is on the heels of a $1 billion investment by the Québec government, which has now become Bombardier’s partner in the production of the C-Series jet.
Ritchie believes he received a positive response as the Prime Minister indicated that Canada’s new Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, is already looking into the file. “I am optimistic that the government will do the right thing for all these workers and invest in the Canadian aerospace industry,” said Ritchie.
Investment in the aerospace industry in Canada, and especially in Québec, affects 4,500 members of IAM Local Lodge 712, as well as thousands of others including members employed by Héroux-Devtek, L3, Messier-Dowty-Bugatti, Rolls Royce-Siemens, AJ Walter, Lockheed Martin, and many others. The monies would benefit IAM members in Québec, as well as in other provinces and territories.
“Any investment in aerospace in Québec will help the industry Canada-wide,” said Ritchie, “as Bombardier sub-contracts out so much of the work in industries represented by our members.”
Dave Chartrand, IAM Québec Co-ordinator said, “This is a major sector with whom the government must work so that we can compete with China, India, Brazil and Russia. All these countries support their domestic industry, why not us?”
The IAM represents the largest number of workers in the Canadian aerospace industry.