TORONTO — Unifor is denouncing FTG Aerospace for using scab labour amid an ongoing labour dispute at its Toronto facility.
"FTG’s decision to use scab labour is completely unacceptable. The company is demonstrating its complete lack of respect for its own employees while attempting to draw out this dispute at the same time,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Scabs are not qualified or certified to perform the work our highly-skilled members do and this poses a major safety concern.”
Approximately 70 Unifor Local 303 members have been on strike since December 11, 2023 for a fair contract. The diverse workforce at the facility is largely female with low pay. As an example, the current wage for an assembler is $17.95. The workers at the plant manufacture components for aircraft cockpit assemblies used in both the commercial and defence aerospace industries.
Unifor is calling on FTG Aerospace management to accept the union’s request to resume negotiations to end the dispute as well as immediately halt the use of scab labour at the facility.
The union is also aware the company has received numerous government funds exceeding $15 million to support creating and maintaining jobs in Ontario. These funds include $6.3 million from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, a $7 million investment from the federal government’s Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative in 2022, and $2.6 million from the Ontario government for advanced manufacturing and innovation competitiveness.
“This is another example why every single jurisdiction in the country must implement anti-scab legislation,” added Payne.
“Seeing scabs at our facility is unthinkable. It’s not only a slap in the face to our FTG members, it’s downright dangerous,” said Brian Vance, Unifor Local 303 President. “It’s time for the company to return to the bargaining table.”
To date, FTG Aerospace has not accepted the union’s request to set a meeting date for further negotiations.
Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, representing more than 315,000 members in all of the major sectors of the economy, including 11,000 in aerospace and 6,000 in Quebec. The union advocates for all workers and their rights. It fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and works for progressive change for a better future.