Aveos castoffs done mourning, looking for work
Published Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:46PM EDT
MONTREAL - Though they may have been set adrift by the company they once faithfully served, the 1,800 Aveos workers let go in the recent closure of the national aeronautics maintenance firm are still plugging away.
Seven of the castoffs set up a job fair in Pointe-Claire Thursday, in an aim to steer the workers through the shock, pain, anger and depression of the experience and into the stages of reconstruction and acceptance.
There was work to be done, yet still there were many emotions to cope with relating to the layoffs as former Aveos employee Colette Bergeron, who has already found a new job, reports.
"It was very shocking. We were devastated," she said. "I'm happy to see my friends and colleagues but I'm kind of disappointed to say I found a job first."
About 30 companies were represented at the job fair and some of the Aveos employees were hoping that their CVs would catch some attention, but some also wondered if they'd have their place within a possible resuscitation of the old company.
Former employee Paul Puri doesn't think anybody should raise their hopes of any such occurrence, however.
"From what I'm hearing, people can't take a chance," said Pure. "We have to still look at other options because if it doesn't happen, then all these other jobs will already be taken."
Others tried to juggle a sense of injustice with hope. Robert Siwik calculates that Aveos still owes him around $6,000 in back pay. A court recently decided that the company would only have to pay $2,000 maximum to those they used to employ.
Yet he's looking towards the future.
"We have to stay positive, you have to move forward with life and that's what we're all trying to do," he said.
Siwik is hopefully that he'll find work soon, as he has a wife, a one-year-old and another child due in under three months.
"You have to stay positive and grow with these life experiences," said Siwik.
The job fair networking experience was thoroughly positive to those in attendance, particularly those who helped set it up. The idea, as so many great ones are, was hatched over happy hour drinks.
"It was a joke at first," said Pascale Lambert. "But we tried as much as possible to reach out to companies that are actually doing some massive hiring, especially in aerospace.'
"I think the employees, have mourned Aveos and are now ready to move ahead," said Lambert.