Canadian Manufacturing

Three month De Havilland strike ends after Unifor members ratify new agreements

The union says its members will receive compensation, including retirement incentives, restructuring packages and enhanced severance packages.

October 27, 2021  The Canadian Press

A three-month strike at De Havilland has ended with the ratification of new collective agreements by members of two Unifor locals.

Negotiations centred on the company’s plans to leave its current production location at the Downsview plant in the north end of Toronto, ending production of the Dash 8 turboprop aircraft.

In lieu of a company commitment to resume production, the union says its members will receive compensation, including retirement incentives, restructuring packages and enhanced severance packages that are double the Employment Standards Act minimum.

The agreements include preferential hiring provisions for union members should production of the Dash 8 resume.

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The agreements cover Local 112 members who work in production and Local 673 members working in office, technical and professional positions at the plant. The deal also preserves about 50 jobs at a new office location that will be located within 80 kilometres of the plant.

De Havilland told workers earlier this year that it would no longer produce new Q400 aircraft at the Downsview facility beyond currently confirmed orders, and said two years ago that work will end at the site once lease agreements for the land expire.

“We know severance doesn’t replace a good-paying job or help pass on highly valuable skills from one generation to the next. That’s why our union will continue advocating for protecting our advanced manufacturing jobs,” stated Unifor Local 112 president John Turner.