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Unifor initiative brings together key players in Quebec’s aerospace industry

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Leading aerospace industry stakeholders gathered in Montreal on March 14 for the “Soaring Higher” Aerospace Summit. Named in reference to Unifor’s strategy for this sector, the event was launched and organized by leaders of Unifor local unions with the support of the National Union. According to the Quebec Director, Renaud Gagné, “we can be proud of having made this event such a resounding success.” 

We were able to bring together representatives from across the aerospace sector, including employers, academics, teaching establishments, industry clusters, Quebec and Canadian politicians, and, of course, workers. That is no small feat and the organizers deserve a great deal of credit,” Brother Gagné added.

From the outset, Brother Gagné pointed out that “it is important to note that all the stakeholders were in agreement with the key points raised in our policy, particularly the crucial importance of this industry for our economy and the need for our governments to support its growth and sustainability.” The participants also expressed concern about the labour shortage that continues to pose a major challenge for the industry.

The event took the form of a series a conferences, panels and workshops, giving participants the opportunity to discuss the issues and reach consensus on several points. “We have a lot of strength here in Quebec and in Canada, and we have to make sure we preserve that strategic advantage in a context where our competitors elsewhere in the world receive massive subsidies from their governments’ defense budgets,” Renaud Gagné said.

A notable presence at the event was Jean Charest, chairman of Vision 2025, an initiative launched by the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada with the aim of bringing industry, government and other stakeholders together in a shared project to promote and support the aerospace sector.

Several participants expressed interest in holding another multi-stakeholder meeting next year.

Adient contract brings jobs back

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Unifor Local 1859 members at Adient have ratified a new collective agreement that will bring jobs back to the Tillsonburg, Ontario auto seat manufacturer. 

Currently 43 members are active at Adient, formerly Johnson Controls, with 97 workers on lay off. The new contract guarantees new work that will bring back 60 plus members this summer with a high probability of additional work in the future.

“Unifor has stood by the members of the Adient unit, never wavering in its support on every level,” said Lorraine Sinclair, President of Local 1859. “We are now facing a brighter future thanks to a great union made up of great members.”

The new collective agreement includes improved pensions, vacation and benefits and, for the first time since 2008, wage increases. The contract, which was overwhelmingly approved, begins on June 8, 2019 and will be in effect for three years with an optional fourth year if a new product contract with Ford is reached.

“The bargaining committee, Local 1859 and National Staff Representative Luis Domingues negotiated a great deal for every member,” said Sinclair.

Budget 2019 takes small steps to improve access to post-secondary education


(Ottawa – 19 March 2019) Today’s budget makes some welcome investments in learners, but does not take the bold steps needed to ensure that all Canadians can access affordable quality post-secondary education opportunities, says the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT).

“We welcome today’s investments to improve access and affordability to post-secondary education, however, we need stronger federal leadership to ensure Canada’s knowledge advantage,” says CAUT executive director David Robinson. “It is time for a multilateral framework on learning.”

Measures to improve access in Budget 2019 include lowering interest rates on student loans, expansion of the graduate scholarship program, and new funding streams for Inuit and Metis learners and minimal increases for First Nations students.  

Budget 2019’s signature investment in skills training for working adults improves upon existing tax and EI programs for learning, but raise similar questions in terms of their distributional impacts.

The last top-up of federal investment in core funding for colleges and universities was in Budget 2007.

CAUT represents over 72,000 academic staff working in 125 universities and colleges across Canada.

Media contact:

Lisa Keller, Communications Officer, Canadian Association of University Teachers; 613-726-5186 (o); 613-222-3530 (cell)