June 1, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

Avios closure in 2012 | A legal battle between Air Canada and former employees continues

Avios closure in 2012 |  A legal battle between Air Canada and former employees continues

Another chapter in the legal soap opera against Air Canada’s former Avios workers. The air carrier wants to appeal a decision by Quebec’s Superior Court to compensate former employees of the specialist in aircraft maintenance, which closed suddenly in 2012.

On November 10, Judge Marie-Christine Hivan ruled in favor of plaintiffs across the board in a class action filed against the major airline. We are talking about several tens of millions of compensation, which will be determined later.

According to Air Canada’s appeal statement, there are five points where the magistrate erred. Although the Montreal-based company violated federal law (Air Canada Public Participation Act) was required to maintain its operating centers in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga, which, as the trial court noted, did not constitute a civil defect.

“The operation of such centers is not a fundamental standard of prudence and its breach does not give rise to an action for damages,” Air Canada argued, in documents filed with the Quebec Court of Appeal.

A hearing will be held on January 24 to consider this request.

A long argument

A former subsidiary of Air Canada, Avios became independent in 2011 after a transfer of employees. Overnight, the maintenance specialist went out of business in the spring of 2012 after its main client turned to other suppliers.

The Avios debacle has put nearly 2,600 people out of work, including 1,800 in Quebec. The closure sparked several legal challenges against the airline. Quebec and Ottawa turned the page in 2016 with an order for 45 aircraft from the former Bombardier C Series. The legislation that led to the privatization of Air Canada was changed.

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This prompted the former Avios to file a class action.

Jean Poirier, a former union representative who has represented workers for years, is not surprised by the developments.

It is contradictory [Air Canada ne tente pas d’appel] It was surprising. We will continue to fight.

Jean Poirier, former union representative

In its statement, Air Canada refers to earlier claims. Therefore, the company is of the view that the transfer of Avios employees can never be condemned as it is carried out within the framework of a legal and monitored process. The union representing the employees, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), agreed to the releases. 55 lakh compensation was paid.

“As part of this transfer, the company argued that IAMAW granted Air Canada a release, the terms of which included the transfer of the relevant employees to Avios as well as the potential closing of Avios as the subject of the transaction. The existence of the release was invalidated by the judge. […] It does not constitute complete elimination of the asylum of organized members of the group. »

Other claims of air transport revolve around limitation periods and the moral damages claimed by the plaintiff. Air Canada recalls that the first instance court rejected the claim that the company intentionally caused the Avios crash. Carrier considers that it is not liable for moral damages because it did not lay off the management specialist’s employees.

Learn more

  • 90%
    This is a ratio of Avios earnings generated with Air Canada.

    Superior Court of Quebec