Skip to main content

A snowplow clears ramps at Pearson airport in Toronto.J.P. MOCZULSKI

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers warned Monday of "significant" temporary and permanent jobs losses at Air Canada in 2010.

The union said the layoffs will be the direct result of Transport Canada's approval of the airline's request to lengthen the period between aircraft heavy maintenance checks for the A310 and A320 fleet types.

The employment changes were disclosed at a recent meeting of a union committee with Air Canada and Aveos, the maintenance overhaul company that set up in 2007. It was formerly called Air Canada Technical Services.

"In light of the sacrifices made by our membership in the most recent round of bargaining to keep Air Canada flying, we think the senior management of Air Canada and Aveos are obligated to act on a number of mitigation initiatives we have presented in order to lessen the impact on our members," directing general chairman Chuck Atkinson said in a news release.

He told the two companies that subcontracting out of any bargaining unit work won't be tolerated when its members are unemployed. It would consider calling upon an arbitrator to protect union jobs.

Mr. Atkinson said it would be premature to disclose the number of jobs that could be affected because discussions are scheduled for early 2010.

However, published reports have suggested that up to 875 jobs could be affected, starting next spring, including 255 in Winnipeg, 415 in Montreal and 205 in Vancouver.

Air Canada, the country's largest airline, is the biggest customer for Aveos Fleet Performance Inc.

IAMAW represents about 3,250 Aveos employees. It is the largest Air Canada union with more than 11,000 members.