On 15 March, Rolls-Royce Canada locked out 530 workers at the Côte-de-Liesse aircraft engine maintenance factory in Montreal while they were attending a general meeting to discuss progress at the bargaining table. Rolls-Royce Canada wants to end the defined benefit pension plan and is proposing a salary freeze for the years 2020 and 2021.
Since Rolls-Royce Canada employees were savagely locked out on March 15th, the Rolls-Royce Canada Workers’ Union (STTRRC-CSN) has been trying to find a satisfactory outcome to the dispute. Several hours of negotiations have taken place between the union and management over the past few days. However, on Wednesday, Rolls-Royce Canada chose to end these discussions. On Thursday and Friday, the union and the employer met in the presence of the conciliator while in front of the plant, workers continued to set up their strike “headquarters”. The union does not intend to give up and it intends to force a change of course from the management of Rolls-Royce Canada.
Rolls-Royce Canada wants to end the defined benefit pension plan and is proposing a salary freeze for the years 2020 and 2021.
No one wants to go through a labor dispute. No one should have to go through a lockout,” says union president Frédéric Labelle. But we are driven by our conviction that we deserve more respect. What we are experiencing is the culmination of a continuous deterioration of labor relations at Rolls-Royce Canada. They will not wear us down. Our members are determined. They voted 94% in favour of strike action. We will return to work with our heads held high and with the contract we deserve.
Our work is recognized throughout the industry as being of exceptional quality, Labelle continued. All we are asking for is recognition, equity and fairness. We want our fair share and we intend to get it.
Without a collective agreement since March 2020, these 530 workers specialized in aircraft engine maintenance are asking for a five-year contract. Among other things, they want to eliminate the disparity of treatment clauses in the pension and group insurance plans, improve wages and work schedules, and improve vacations.