Cascade workers call for city support

Unifor members on strike at Cascade Aerospace protested at city hall on Monday.  - Alex Butler
Unifor members on strike at Cascade Aerospace protested at city hall on Monday.
— image credit: Alex Butler

Striking workers from Abbotsford’s Cascade Aerospace Inc. protested at city hall during Monday’s evening council meeting, calling on the city to “show leadership” in the ongoing labour dispute.

After the meeting, Gavin McGarrigle, the B.C.-area director for Unifor, called on Mayor Bruce Banman to publicly stand up for local jobs. Banman said that while he feels for the workers, “the city cannot get itself involved in the middle of labour negotiations between a union and a company.”

The members of Unifor Local 114 have been on strike, with a 24-hour picket line, since June 4. The union represents 440 aircraft maintenance engineers, interior technicians, painters, and more at Cascade, which was acquired by the Halifax-based IMP Group in late 2012.

McGarrigle, the union’s lead negotiator, said the workers are mainly concerned with job security and the proposal from the company on “two-tiered compensation” for vacation, pension contributions and severance.

He said young workers entering the job would receive less compensation than existing workers, which would create inequity among people doing the same work.

He said that it has been difficult for the workers to remain without wages and also keep a 24-hour picket line.

McGarrigle said politicians have been silent on the strike at Abbotsford’s largest private-sector employer. Union members have been handing out flyers that say Banman, MLAs Mike de Jong and Darryl Plecas, and MP Ed Fast should show leadership on the issue.

Union members had requested to make a delegation to council at the meeting on Monday, but the request was denied. City manager George Murray said the request was denied, as application sometimes are, because the city has no jurisdiction over the issue.

As Cascade has many contracts with the federal Department of National Defense, Unifor claims political pressure could help the company and union to settle.

Banman said he “offered to try and bring the parties together behind the scenes, but as of yet, I have not had a phone call to do that.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Homeless housing rezoning will move to public hearing
Abbotsford Police officer honoured for basketball tournament
Many changes in the Sikh community in the 1920s
VIDEO: Witnesses describe scene at Parliament Hill; Raw footage of Ottawa shootings
Council expenses to include health benefits for family members, and childcare
Growing turkeys for goodwill at Sardis secondary
School celebrates one of their own
Starlight Gala raises $529,000 for Richmond Hospital
Boaters hope to rekindle sail past

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 22 edition online now. Browse the archives.