Letter from your President to the Prime Minister Harper

The reason of this letter is to ask your Government to intervene and protect the 2,800 jobs that have been lost nationally due to the bankruptcy of Aveos Fleet Performance Inc.  This number includes 1,800 members from my Local Lodge (Local Lodge 1751) located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

April 16, 2012

Sent by fax: 1-613-941-6900

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper

Prime Minister of Canada

Office of the Prime Minister

80 Wellington Street

Ottawa ON  K1A 0A2

SUBJECT: Aveos Fleet Performance Inc. bankruptcy and Air Canada

 

Mr. Prime Minister:

The reason of this letter is to ask your Government to intervene and protect the 2,800 jobs that have been lost nationally due to the bankruptcy of Aveos Fleet Performance Inc.  This number includes 1,800 members from my Local Lodge (Local Lodge 1751) located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Local Lodge 1751 is part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers which represents more than 3,350 members in Montreal and Quebec working for Air Canada, Aveos Fleet Performance Inc., Sage Parts and Services Pro-Act.  Our International Union, the IAMAW, also represents more than 11,000 workers holding jobs in Maintenance at Aveos and Air Canada, but also in Technical Services, Operational Services, Clerical Services and in Financial Services throughout Canada.

Following the restructuring of Air Canada in 2004, Air Canada Enterprise (ACE) Aviation Holding (Mother-House) was created, thus resulting in the privatisation of Air Canada in 1988.  ACE then divided Air Canada in five (5) completely independent companies.  The new companies were Air Canada (airline), Air Canada Cargo, Air Canada Ground Handling, Aeroplan and Air Canada Technical Services (ACTS).

In October 2007, ACTS was sold to KKR and Sageview Investments.  ACTS changed its name a little later in 2008.  KKR and Sageview withdrew their investments in Aveos and Aveos filed for creditor protection (CCAA) in January 2009.  In March 2010, Aveos went out of bankruptcy as a result of a re-capitalization controlled by 11 new investors, namely Lehman Brothers, Woodridge Investments, etc.  Air Canada was also a minority investor in the reorganized Aveos.

In 1988, following the privatisation of Air Canada, an Act was created, namely the Air Canada Public Participation Act (ACPPA).  In this Act, it is well written that Air Canada could not dispose of and should retain its three (3) Overhaul Maintenance Centres in the cities of Montreal, Quebec, Mississauga, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Later, in 1999, Vancouver, British Columbia, became the third Maintenance Base replacing the one located in Mississauga, due to the purchase of Canadian Airlines (CAIL).

The Provincial Governments of Quebec, Manitoba and British Colombia have joined together to ask your Government to reinforce this Act (ACPPA) and to intervene in the conflict.  You have received letters from the Mayors of the cities of Montreal, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Richmond and Vancouver, asking you to intervene in this matter and not continue to act as if there was no urgent matter.

The filing for creditor protection (CCAA) has been extended until May 4, 2012, and it is of an extreme importance that the Quebec Superior Court sees a concrete improvement in the progress of the application of the Act or even the beginning of a restructuring before the deadline.

The IAMAW, and its allies, met with some investors interested in reinstating Aveos.  Now has come the time for the Federal Government to intervene and take leadership as well as meet all parties involved in order to find a solution to this problem and return these 2,800 Canadian workers back to work, so that they can meet the needs of their families and regain the dignity they deserve.

Only you have the power to reinforce the Law and bring together different shareholders and save the ex-workers of Aveos.  I urgently ask you to reinforce the Law (ACPPA) and seek solutions with the shareholders which would result in saving thousands of high-tech jobs in Canada.

Our members have become very involved after they have been laid-off in the most appalling way ever done by a Corporation in our Country.  They have visited their respective MP’s to ask for their help.  Many of these MP’s are members of your Government.

Please do not abandon the Aircraft Maintenance Industry and let these workers fall into oblivion.  Your Government should be proud of its former Air Canada workers and help them find the jobs they deserve and of which they would be proud of.

 

We are available at any time to provide you with any assistance you may need in this very complicated issue.  You can contact me at the number below, as well as by email or regular mail.

We thank you in advance for your urgent consideration and support.

Respectfully yours,

 

Marcel St-Jean

President

Local Lodge 1751

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

(IAMAW)

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