Machinists Applaud Ottawas Refusal to Bow to UAE Pressure!
November 26, 2010
For Immediate Release
Toronto, ON The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers applauds the actions of the Federal Government in refusing to bow to political pressure by the United Arab Emirates. The UAE wants the Canadian government to allow Emirates Air increased access to the Canadian air transport market.
As the largest union at Air Canada, the countrys principal air carrier, representing more than 11,000 workers, were opposed to such a request for increased access to our air transport market, said IAMAW Canadian General Vice President Dave Ritchie. The extra capacity sought was not needed for the Canada-UAE market and it would have allowed the state-owned carrier Emirates Air, to divert a significant share of Air Canadas international traffic, directly threatening Canadian jobs. Air Canada has only recently returned to profitability after spending most of the past decade in a financially-precarious position. As Canadas primary global carrier, allowing the UAE increased access would put it at great risk, explained Ritchie.
Air Canada directly employs over 22,000 Canadians across Canada plus thousands of spinoff and ancillary jobs at Jazz and other feeder carriers and suppliers. Air Canada accounts for 39 per cent of Canadas total international air transport capacity, and international traffic accounts for about 36 per cent of Air Canadas passenger revenues.
We are pleased that the government understands the importance of this sector, added Ritchie. We hope that it will, in ongoing negotiations with the European Union and others, continue to heed the call of the workers in this sector for the need to maintain strong Canadian owned and based presence in air transport, to ensure safety, employment and service to Canadian communities.
The IAMAW is the largest union in the air transport sector in Canada and the United States and has represented Canadian air transport workers for almost 70 years.
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