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Sunwing’s Plans puts Canadian AME Jobs in Jeopardy

Sept.27, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) warns that Sunwing Airlines’ deal with the Czech Republic, allows for the use of foreign workers, in turn, bypassing highly skilled Canadian workers.

The aviation industry was devastated by the pandemic, with thousands of aviation workers being laid-off. Despite the rebound, workers in this industry are still waiting to return to work. Sunwing’s wet-leasing of aircraft directly undermines and eliminates the need for Canadian trained and certified Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, (AMEs) since the arrangement provides for a foreign crew and maintenance personnel.

“This is hugely problematic for several reasons.” said David Chartrand, Canadian General Vice President for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). Mr. Chartrand explained that AMEs in Canada are trained and certified through Transport Canada, an agency responsible for Canadian aviation and transportation, setting high standards of professional competency and excellency.

“Canadian AMEs are renowned for their expertise and skill, it is baffling why Sunwing Airlines and Transport Canada would allow foreign trained workers, whose skills are not certified by any Canadian agency, to fly and maintain aircraft carrying hundreds of passengers on a daily basis.” added the IAM’s General Vice-President.

The IAM initiated conversations with the Ministers of Labour, and Transport, to address this issue, and urges both departments to intervene quickly.

As the Canadian economy continues to recover, the emphasis and priority of this government ought to be protecting and growing Canadian jobs. “Allowing Sunwing to undermine jobs of Canadian workers is irresponsible and a clear indicator that corporations that look to cut their costs at the expense of Canadian jobs are this governments priority over workers; that’s simply unacceptable.” said Mr. Chartrand, in closing.

The head of the IAM in Canada confirmed that the union will continue working with all stakeholders to ensure this practice is brought to an end, or at the very least, that the maintenance work on the aircraft in question is done in Canada.

The IAM is the largest union in Canada’s air transport sector and among the largest industrial trade unions in North America, representing more than 500,000 active and retired members, and administers more than 5,000 contracts in transportation, woodworking, aerospace, manufacturing, service, health services and public services workers.

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This article was originally posted on the IAM Canada website. View the original post here: Sunwing’s Plans puts Canadian AME Jobs in Jeopardy