May 23, 2024

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Agreement rejected in principle in Mirabel | Airbus said it was studying “all possible options”.

Agreement rejected in principle in Mirabel |  Airbus said it was studying "all possible options".

Airbus said it had “put everything on the table” in talks with its 1,300 union members, who assembled the A220 – still in short supply – at Mirabel. After rejecting a deal in principle for a 22% pay rise over five years, the plane maker said it was studying “all possible options”.

But reacting to the outcome of Sunday's vote, the European multinational did not say how far it was prepared to go. In her statement, she essentially expressed her frustration and reiterated the gains made by the workers at the factory in Laurentians. By this mail, Press He asked if there was a possibility of a lockout of Airbus. As of this writing, the company has not responded.

“We put everything on the table in terms of improving salary conditions, social benefits and retirement by adding a bonus to encourage our employees to share our knowledge,” said Patrick Bertin, head of human resources at Airbus Canada.

The third employer offer from the aircraft manufacturer stems from an agreement in principle with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). The union recommended its members, which include mechanics, toolmakers, welders and other technicians, accept the offer. An assembly in Laval rejected it by about 68%. About 75% of these employees, or just under 1,000, are union members.


On the Union side, we didn't expect the result that happened on Sunday.

“In principle with this agreement, we believed we met the members' expectations, but this is not the case,” said union spokesman Eric Rancourt. We will quickly contact the owner to discuss next steps. »

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In a telephone interview, he said he had already contacted the employer to set new dates to resume negotiations. Mr Rancourt claimed he had not received a response from Airbus on Sunday. Airbus' statement stressed that it was “necessary” to resolve the standoff “as soon as possible”.

The first two employer offers were almost unanimously rejected by its workers, following recommendations from their union. This third proposal from Airbus is based on a five-year employment contract with annual salary increases of 8%, 3%, 3%, 4% and 4%. They should be applied in advance by December 2.

Stretching is a problem

Industrial peace is one of the issues Airbus needs to address as part of its strategy to make the program profitable. To achieve this, the European aircraft manufacturer needs to double its current production rate within two years and be able to deliver 14 examples of the A220 per month. In 2023, 68 devices will be delivered to customers. After the first three months of the year, A220 deliveries reached 12. The multinational still has a lot of work to do.

“This is a young aircraft program and efforts still need to be made to ensure its long-term success,” Mr Bertin said.

Any delay in the profitability schedule could have consequences for Quebec taxpayers, who own 25% of the program developed by Bombardier after injecting 1.7 billion since 2015. By agreeing to pay 380 million in 2022, Quebec was able to move back to 2030. A moment when Airbus could buy back its stake in the A220.

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The longer profits wait, the more money the Quebec state leaves on the table.

The story so far:

November 6, 2023: Negotiations between Airbus and IAMAW begin

1er December 2023: The collective agreement for 1,300 union members expires.

March 17, 2024: The owner's first offer of 99.6% is rejected.

April 7, 2024: Union members reject the second proposal by 99.9%.

April 12, 2024: Agreement in principle between union and employer announced.

April 21, 2024: The agreement is rejected by 68% of IAMAW members.

Learn more

  • 2
    A220 assembly lines. The second is in Mobile, Alabama, where employees are not unionized.

    Source: Press

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