Laid-off maintenance workers seeking injunction against Air Canada
Published Friday, March 11, 2016 2:40PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 11, 2016 6:47PM EST
The union that represents former Aveos workers is hoping a judge will grant an injunction to force Air Canada to obey court judgments.
The move comes as the Quebec government abandoned a court case against the airline despite two victories in court.
David Chartrand, a vice-president of the Quebec Federation of Labour, said Air Canada must respect the most recent court decision.
"That is why the Supreme Court was asked to hear and try to overturn that decision, but what legally is standing right now is the decision from the Court of Appeals where five, not one, not two, five people decided unanimously that Air Canada had to comply," said Chartrand.
The legal battle began in 2012 when Air Canada shut down its aircraft maintenance divisions in Montreal and Winnipeg and outsourced it to other countries, despite a federal law requiring such work be done in Canada.
Quebec's government took the airline to court and won in Superior Court and the Court of Appeal, so this past January Air Canada filed a petition to be heard in the Supreme Court of Canada.
In February the provincial government said it would no longer defend the 1,700 Aveos workers in exchange for Air Canada pledging to buy up to 75 CSeries jets from Bombardier, and a promise those planes would be maintained in Montreal starting in 2019.
The QFL said even though Quebec has abandoned the case, the Supreme Court has not yet agreed to hear the case, meaning the current judgment stands.
"The maintenance should be done if its fleet here in Montreal urban community in Winnipeg and Mississauga and what we intend to do with the application we file today is to make sure that happens," said Chartrand.
The provinical government, however, said the case was suspended, not abandoned. The goal of putting the case on hold is "to to guarantee that the 40,000 people that we have working in this industry keep their jobs and in fact we want to create even more jobs in this industry," said Quebec Economy Minister Dominique Anglade.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has said the end of the lawsuits against Air Canada would provide the federal government with an opportunity to change the Air Canada Public Participation Act.
The opposition at Montreal city hall is demanding the mayor do more. Projet Montreal wants the city to pass a resolution backing the workers and give them legal support.
In 2012, then-Liberal MP Denis Coderre rallied to the Aveos workers’ defence, saying he was “pissed off” about the “totally unacceptable” way the workers had been treated.
The demand for the injunction was deposited in Quebec Superior Court this morning. Air Canada says it has no comment since the case is, once again, before the courts.