Turbulence in sight for thousands of workers

Des turbulences en vue pour des milliers de travailleurs

After the shock of the announcement, the anxiety had already won, yesterday afternoon, many employees of the factory Canadair to Bombardier, in the borough of Saint-Laurent, in Montreal.

It is in this factory that work with the 360 employees directly affected by the transfer of the activities of industrial production related to the assembly of the A220 and A330.

Shortly after 6 a.m., they were learning yesterday morning that they were no longer in the employment of Bombardier, but now Stelia Aerospace, a subsidiary of Airbus.

“Obviously it is worrying for all the world, has entrusted us with one of them. For me, it goes on, but for those who live on the South Shore, this is another pair of sleeves ; it may mean the relocation of their family. ”

It is that while confirming the full withdrawal of Bombardier’s commercial aviation sector, Airbus announced its intention to relocate its activities from Saint-Laurent, Mirabel, where Stelia has already a factory. This move will take place within three years.

Thirty years at Bombardier

“It surprises nobody likes the changes, but it will eventually replace, philosophised another worker, before it is obscured like other for dinner in a brewery, a few hundred metres from the factory. With a good beer, you know, everything is replace. ”

Several of them have given between 25 and 30 years of their lives to Bombardier. “It cannot do otherwise than shake,” says David Chartrand, coordinator, quebec IAMAW. Nevertheless, it believes that the machinists will enjoy in the circumstances the best conditions. No one will lose his job and all will retain their conditions of work, both in terms of wage on the level of the pension and benefits.

That said, there is no guarantee that once the share of Quebec (25 %) purchased by Airbus in six years, Stelia do will move its activities to another country.

Theoretical risk

Of California, where it follows every movement of Bombardier, professor Mehran Ebrahimi, a specialist in aeronautics at UQAM, argues that this concern is not founded.

“This is an industry that needs its enterprise ecosystem in order to survive. Beyond the equipment and the proximity of its plant (Mirabel), the real value of this transaction is the workforce. ”

In the past, Mexico, Morocco and China have attracted many manufacturers thanks to their low cost. “Even the firm of Pratt & Withney is risky in Poland, he acknowledges. And it was with regret, I assure you. They are finally back after having lost tens of millions of dollars. […] This is why, even if Airbus had the technical ability to leave Quebec if she wanted to, I don’t see any reason for her to take this risk. ”

What they said

“We have not to rejoice of what is going on with Bombardier, with our collective investment, with the uncertainty that there is still in La Pocatière. “ – Pascal Bérubé, interim leader of the Parti québécois

“François Legault said it was a champion of the economy, that he was going to protect the headquarters in Quebec, it was necessary to invest in the railway transport, and that he had a strategy to sell trains across the United States, and we see today that this is not the case. “– Pierre Arcand, interim leader of the liberal Party of Quebec

“This is all the more fâchant, is that we have bosses who have put lots of pockets, and each time they came to ask money to the government of Quebec, we learned in the days or weeks following that they were paid big bonuses. “– Vincent Marissal, a spokesperson for Québec solidaire in the field of finance

“We welcome the announcement that 3,300 jobs will be retained in Quebec. This testifies to the recognition of the place of canadian workers in the aerospace, who constitute a workforce of world-class. “– Navdeep Bains, federal minister of Industry

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