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The ax falls again at Pratt & Whitney and Airbus

The ax falls for the second time in just a few months at Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) and Airbus Canada, which will result in the cut of about 300 jobs in Quebec as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to the aviation industry.

Posted Oct 14, 2020 at 10:56 am

Updated at 12:43 PM

Julien Arsenault
The Canadian Press

This is in addition to the approximately 4,000 jobs lost since the start of the health crisis within the Quebec aerospace cluster, particularly at well-known companies such as Bombardier and Héroux-Devtek.

Motor manufacturer Pratt & Whitney attributed this further downsizing to the need to adapt to long-term demand that promises to weaken much as the commercial aviation industry takes several years. to recover from the health crisis.

"So we have made the extremely difficult but necessary choice to implement an involuntary employee departure program," wrote company spokesman Catherine Cunningham. This measure is in line with that of our customers and our competitors.

At Airbus, which assembles the A220 – Bombardier's former C-series – in Mirabel, 48 people will lose their livelihood after being warned last week, a spokesman, Marcella Cortellazi, said in a telephone interview.

19659004] The affected workers provide joint services to the European aircraft manufacturer and the CRJ program that Bombardier sold to Mitsubishi, which is coming to the end of its life.

"We initially planned to have them in the A220 program, but because of the effects of the pandemic affecting our industry, we cannot do this, ”explains Ms. Cortellazi.

In May, the European aircraft manufacturer announced layoffs involving nearly 350 people, in addition to suspending its plan to accelerate production at Mirabel, approximately 130 employees have since been recalled.

Pratt & Whitney Canada has taken the affected species at positions not specified. At Unifor, which represents the company's trade unionists, communications manager Marie-Andrée L'Heureux said it didn't bother members. By May, the Raytheon branch, which had about 5,000 workers in the province and a strong presence in Longueuil, in the southern suburbs of Montreal, and in Mirabel, in the Laurentians, had cut 350 jobs.

Layoffs were avoided thanks to about 230 voluntary departures and early retirement after negotiations between the employer and the union side.

Pratt & Whitney was previously eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy after the program was implemented, but the company is no longer eligible for the current version of the program, Cunningham said.

Before the pandemic, the aerospace industry in Quebec had some 43,400 jobs.

Aéro Montréal, an association representing the sector, has already indicated that it expects more layoffs, while urging the Trudeau government to help the sector.

In a statement, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), which represents workers at Airbus, said that further cuts at Pratt & Whitney Canada and Airbus are a new indicator of crisis as well as the "tip of the iceberg". .

"The federal (government) has a great responsibility in all of this," argued its Quebec coordinator David Chartrand. By refusing to publicly commit to a strategy to support both the airlines and the space ecosystem, he is sending the message that this is not a priority for him and that it is only making things worse.

Without help from Ottawa, the long-term effects are likely to be felt, regretted IAMAW.

Written by Rahis

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