“We have workers at L3-Harris in Mirabel who want nothing better than to work on the Royal Canadian Air Force’s next fighter jet, and who have the know-how to do it,” says IAMAW Canadian General Vice President David Chartrand.
Workers at L-3 Harris in Mirabel are currently performing heavy maintenance on the RCAF’s CF-18s.
At L3-Harris in Mirabel, we have men and women who work miracles to keep the CF-18s in working order,” says Chartrand. When the last CF-18s are retired in 2032, members of our union will have worked on them for 46 years – 30 years longer than planned when the first aircraft were purchased. After so many years of developing our expertise in the field, the least we can do is see the federal government making sure it continues with the F-35.”
The importance of military contracts for our aerospace ecosystem
Spin-offs from military contracts are essential to ensure the dynamism and stability of the Canadian aerospace industry. That said, the government’s lack of transparency and rigor in the application of its air defense procurement process means that it is missing out on opportunities to support its aerospace industry.
All the countries in the world that have an aerospace ecosystem on their territory use their military contracts to help it develop,” emphasizes David Chartrand. The spin-offs from military contracts have a multiplier effect on the economic and technological fronts, and we all benefit from having this effect here at home, with companies that are active and developing projects here and not elsewhere. Whether it’s the contract to replace the CF-18s or the CP-140 Auroras, the logic is the same: the Trudeau government must ensure that the interests of our industry are respected, and by the same token, those of our workers”.
The IAMAW is the world’s largest aerospace union, with over 184,000 members in 1,000 collective agreements. Active in the Quebec aerospace industry since 1940, the IAMAW today represents over 60% of unionized workers in the sector. Machinist members can be found at Bombardier, Airbus, Stelia, Rolls-Royce, Héroux-Devtek, Tekalia, L3-Harris, AJ-Walter, Air Canada and Air Transat, among others.
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Guillaume Valois, Communications, LL712