Canadian Manufacturing

Unifor calls on federal government to help De Havilland workers

Manufacturing sector workers affected by De Havilland's plans to shutter Dash 8 production.

February 18, 2021  by CM Staff

TORONTO — On Feb. 18, Unifor urged immediate action from the federal government to protect jobs in Canada’s aerospace industry as De Havilland Canada announced that it would leave the current Downsview production facility and suspend production of the Dash 8.

“Canada’s aerospace workers deserve better. We need the strongest possible government plan to support these economically vital jobs and protect our highly skilled aircraft manufacturing workers immediately,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Each day that passes without a comprehensive plan including significant government financial supports for Canada’s airlines and aerospace sectors means more unnecessary job losses, risks prolonging an economic recovery, and may do irreversible damage to our industrial capacity.”

The suspension of the Dash 8 program and facility exit will affect more than 700 members of Unifor Locals 112 and 673. The union remains concerned due to a lack of a firm relocation plan or a timeline to resume production.

Unifor also released a comprehensive aerospace report last month detailing the union’s recovery plan for the industry in response to COVID-19. The report recommended that the federal government immediately implement measures to support domestic aerospace manufacturing, including direct financial support that protects aerospace jobs and strengthens procurement policies using a “Buy Canadian” approach. Following the release of the report, the union engaged in a lobbying effort, meeting with more than 100 Members of Parliament, Ministers and government staff to discuss the union’s recommendations and alert officials of looming production problems, including the Dash 8 production suspension.

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