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Canadian Aircraft Workers Locked Out

DELTA, British Columbia—About 300 workers at an aircraft-parts factory here were locked out Sept. 16, five months after their contract expired. “Some people were caught by surprise that the employer decided to escalate to locking them out in an attempt to get a deal,” Walter Gerlach of the International Association of Machinists told CTV News. He said that mediated contract talks in August at the Avcorp Industries plant, which builds wings and flaps for companies including Boeing and Bombardier, had not produced results, so workers had refused to work overtime and begun rotating job actions. Avcorp said the lockout was a “last resort,” but it was “unable to carry on its operations due to the continuing interruptions caused by these rotating strikes.” It said both parties have mostly agreed on wages and benefits, but Gerlach said sticking points were outsourcing and restoring seniority recall rights for about 200 workers who had been laid off. “They had to come back to the workplace without seniority and start at the bottom of the pay scale as well,” he said. Avcorp said limiting outsourcing would restrict its “ability to reasonably and competitively manage its operation.” Read more

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