Canadian Manufacturing

B.C. aerospace workers strike after bargaining talks break down

Cascades Aerospace disappointed deal couldn't be reached before 440 workers went on strike

ABBOTSFORD, B.C.—A British Columbia aerospace firm that repairs Canadian military aircraft has expressed disappointment that a deal could not be reached after 440 employees went on strike this week.

Cascade Aerospace Inc. released a statement June 4 shortly after workers walked off the job.

The company said it had been negotiations with the union representing workers, Unifor, since early February.

“While it is unfortunate that Unifor has decided to take job action, we remain hopeful that an agreement can be reached that will position Cascade and all of our employees for future growth while maintaining an on-going sustainable business,” Cascade executive vice-president and chief operating officer Ben Boehm said in a statement.

According to Cascade, the latest offer rejected by the union included annual wage increases and no change to benefit programs for existing employees.

“We’ve been working through the night trying to reach a deal that is fair for all parties, but we have reached a standstill. Our members won’t accept concessions from a company as profitable as Cascade,” Unifor B.C. director Gavin McGarrigle said in a separate statement issued by the union.

Cascade said it remains willing to bargain with union representatives.

Workers at the plant in Abbotsford, B.C., voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike earlier this month.

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