Evidence of meeting #31 for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was aveos.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Chuck Atkinson  President and Directing General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Mississauga, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada
  • Jean Poirier  General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Montréal, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada
  • Gilles Brosseau  Québec Coordinator, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada
  • Louis Erlichman  Canadian Research Director, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada
  • Tony Didoshak  General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Winnipeg, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada
  • Christopher Hiscock  President, Local Lodge 764, Richmond, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

8:55 a.m.

NDP

Jamie Nicholls Vaudreuil-Soulanges, QC

Does Ms. Morin have any questions?

April 3rd, 2012 / 8:55 a.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Last week, we learned that the government refused to require Aveos representatives to appear before the committee. Do you have any comments about that? Does that make sense to you? Do you think that the government did its job?

8:55 a.m.

General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Montréal, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

Jean Poirier

I am not surprised. The fact that Aveos managers do not want to appear before the committee just shows that they have something to hide.

No, I am not surprised. That is the only answer I can give you in this regard.

8:55 a.m.

NDP

Isabelle Morin Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, QC

Did you finally succeed in contacting anyone at Aveos? Did you speak with the managers at Aveos? What happened there?

8:55 a.m.

General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Montréal, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

Jean Poirier

I know that Aveos is downsizing. Many people are leaving. There are about three people left to take care of some 2,600 employees. That is not a very big team and it is unable to even provide employees with termination forms right now. We have mentioned how these employees are not receiving any wages, but they are also unable to receive employment insurance benefits because they have not yet been sent their termination forms.

The company ceased operating three weeks ago. The employees are in dire straits. It is completely ridiculous. I do not know which authority to turn to. The government's representatives, those who are responsible for employment insurance, have not done anything. I do not know whether they need to make telephone calls so that these workers are sent their termination forms. In addition to not receiving wages, the workers are also not receiving any employment insurance benefits.

8:55 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Merv Tweed

Thank you.

Monsieur Coderre.

8:55 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Thank you, gentlemen.

I must admit that this morning it seems as though you are stuck in a holding pattern. I believe that Air Canada must comply with the act but the reality is that the government can present a legal opinion claiming that Air Canada is in compliance with the act. We are unable to make the distinction between heavy maintenance and level one maintenance. We are not talking about an oil change but about taking an aircraft apart and putting it back together.

I would like to speak briefly about the legal aspect of the problem. Essentially, there are two realities: the legal issue and the political issue, which I will come back to.

Mr. Brosseau, what exactly is your role as a Quebec coordinator?

9 a.m.

Gilles Brosseau Québec Coordinator, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

I coordinate activities in Quebec. It is important to explain that our territory is national. That is why we have workers everywhere. I am not directly linked that this section. I am more a part of the Quebec section.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

You are not a chaperone. You do not monitor Jean Poirier.

9 a.m.

Québec Coordinator, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

Gilles Brosseau

No. I am not a mother-in-law either.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

The government is saying that it does not want to do anything because Air Canada is complying with the act. The government is saying that it does not want to make a bailout plan. I saw that, yesterday, a job fair was held, which was organized by the employee union, so that representatives from Emploi-Québec and others could find a way to transfer these jobs, which is a good thing.

My first question is very clear: if Aveos is not paying you, is it because its representatives have told you that they will pay you only if you do not take them to court?

9 a.m.

General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Montréal, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

Jean Poirier

I have not been told that, but you may have a point.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

Could that be the case?

9 a.m.

General Chairman, District Lodge 140, Montréal, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Canada

Jean Poirier

It could be a result of the fact that we are putting pressure on the governments and we are trying to get our employees back to work. Managers are perhaps exerting pressure in another way, by not paying employees or by not giving them their termination forms. It would be really— I will not say the word here.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Denis Coderre Bourassa, QC

We know what you were thinking.