Workers set to strike at B.C.’s Cascade Aerospace

440 workers represented by Unifor plan labour action

440 workers at Cascade Aerospace’s Abbotsford, B.C., plant are set to strike.

Barring a last-minute tentative agreement the aircraft maintenance engineers, interior technicians, painters, maintenance, planning clerks and sheet metal mechanics will bring production to a halt at 11 a.m. on June 4.

Unifor Local 114’s current agreement with Cascade Aerospace expired on March 30, 2014, and workers voted 98 per cent in favour of strike action on May 13, 2014.

“Our bargaining committee has made every attempt to reach a fair agreement over months of negotiations,” said Nate Shier, plant chairperson for Unifor Local 114 in a statement. “We will simply not accept massive concessions at a company as profitable as Cascade.”

This latest round of bargaining marked the first under the company’s new ownership, Halifax-based IMP Group.

“The IMP approach at Cascade Aerospace is the same story we see from far too many greedy employers today — they acquire new companies, reap rewards from the skilled workers, and then demand concessions,” said Unifor’s B.C. area director Gavin McGarrigle. “Skilled aerospace workers are in high demand. Treating them unfairly while rolling back benefits will only cause conflict that disrupts production.”

The union has also voiced concerns the company is making plans to bring in replacement workers in the event of a strike.

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