May 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Group discussions End of standoff on the horizon at Airbus in Mirabel

Group discussions  End of standoff on the horizon at Airbus in Mirabel

Tensions between Airbus Canada and the union that represents 1,300 of its factory workers have eased after the two sides reached an agreement in principle to renew a collective agreement that expired last December to resolve the impasse.

The agreement was reached on Friday after intense negotiations. Terms of the proposed employment contract were not disclosed, but in a message to its members, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) said a ratification meeting would be held next April 21.

The 1,300 workers who assemble the A220 in Mirabel, in Laurentians, have twice rejected – and almost unanimously – the first two employer offers. The pressure tactics “severely slowed” the assembly line on Monday, prompting the employer to walk out of the negotiating session.

The former Bombardier C Series company turned the page on a record year in terms of orders with 142 contracts, but managed to increase the number of deliveries last year by nearly 30% (68 aircraft handed over to customers). If the program is still in deficit, the production rate at Mirabel as well as Mobile, Alabama will double within two years.

Quebec owns 25% of the program.

Any delay in the profitability schedule could have consequences for Quebec taxpayers, who have so far injected $1.7 billion into the Bombardier-developed program. By agreeing to pay 380 million in 2022, Quebec was able to postpone until 2030 the moment Airbus buys back its stake in the A220. The longer the profits are delayed, the lower the amount received by the State of Quebec.

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