Canadian Manufacturing

De Havilland workers continue strike action at Downsview plant

The dispute stems from Bombardier's sale of the Dash 8 program to Longview Aviation Capital, Unifor says.

August 3, 2021  by CM Staff

Unifor member with Unifor flag outside of Bombardier Aviation Downsview plant (CNW Group/Unifor)

More than 700 De Havilland workers at the Downsview, Ontario plant remain on strike after the continued negotiations with the company failed to resolve the dispute.

“Union members at the Downsview plant have always clocked in together, worked together, bargained together, and, when necessary, gone on strike together,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president, who started his career at the plant. “This situation was caused by Bombardier when they committed to not sell the Dash 8 program then proceeded to do just that.”

Bombardier, a Canadian manufacturer of business jets, announced plans to sell the Downsview site in May 2018.

In a news release, Unifor says the contract and commitments between it and Bombardier “were immediately violated” when Bombardier sold the Dash 8 program to Longview Aviation Capital controlled by Thompson family heiress Sherry Brydson.

Advertisement

“We now have the unfortunate situation where we have a tentative agreement with Bombardier and a strike at De Havilland,” Dias added. “This strike is about Longview’s determination that if they revive the Dash 8 program, and we know they will, Longview will likely do so in Calgary. We cannot allow hundreds of highly-skilled aerospace workers in Ontario who built these aircraft for generations, to be left behind.”

The labour dispute will continue until a fair settlement is reached, Unifor said.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers.