National News

Strike set to begin at Cascade Aerospace

By The Canadian Press

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Barring a last-minute tentative agreement, the 440 workers at Cascade Aerospace in Abbotsford, B.C., are set to begin a strike today at 11 a.m.

Unifor says workers at the aerospace company are being asked for concessions that include rolling back benefits.

Gavin McGarrigle, the union’s B.C. area director, says Unifor has ”no intention of accepting concessions from a company as profitable as Cascade."

The union earlier claimed the company has been making plans to bring in replacement workers in the event of a strike.

McGarrigle said in a statement late Tuesday he is concerned that other workers are ”going to be rushed in” to perform work normally done by skilled engineers and technicians.

The workers include aircraft maintenance engineers, interior technicians, painters, maintenance, planning clerks and sheet metal mechanics.

Cascade Aerospace is owned by the Halifax-based IMP group.

It is the main Department of National Defence contractor for repair and overhaul on the Hercules aircraft heavy transport fleet. It also repairs commercial aircraft for firms such as Canjet.

Workers at the plant voted 98 per cent in favour of a strike earlier this month to push for a new contract to replace one that expired on March 30.

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