Locked in Rolls-Royce Canada |  “We were cut off from all our services”

Locked in Rolls-Royce Canada | “We were cut off from all our services”


After more than four months of lockout, members of the Rolls-Royce Canada Workers Union (STTRRC) marched Wednesday in downtown Montreal to demand better pay conditions.

Posted at 7:00 am

Delphine Belzile

Delphine Belzile
Media

They were more than a hundred to take the streets of the city on Wednesday morning. Workers at the Rolls-Royce Canada factory, on the Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse in Lachine, gathered at Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle to put pressure on the international company, which specializes in aircraft engines and engines. They marched to the office of Prime Minister François Legault to call on the Union Avenir Québec to focus on the labor dispute.

In February, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation announced an investment of 334 million dollars in Quebec’s aerospace industry by 2024, subsidies from which Rolls-Royce Canada benefits.

This is an “absolutely absurd” investment, given Rolls-Royce Canada’s “unacceptable” interest in its employees, hates Frédéric Labelle, president of STTRRC.

PHOTO MARCO CAMPANOZZI, PRESS

Frédéric Labelle, president of STTRRC, in front of the office of Prime Minister François Legault

Members of the Rolls-Royce Canadian union pointed out in particular the “explanation” of François Legault that he is currently funding a company that ignores the working conditions of its workers, he insists Media. In anticipation of the election this fall, “we are giving Mr. Legault a chance to fix the situation”.

An ongoing conflict

The issue is not new: workers at the Montreal plant have been without a collective agreement since March 2020. Recall that on March 15, Rolls-Royce Canada ordered a lockout following negotiations with its workers. Since then, 530 workers are still unemployed.

“We were cut off from all our services, our insurance and our bonuses. I don’t know where the employer wants to go, but it’s a huge insult [de sa part] “, laments Jean-François Guyot, an employee at the Rolls-Royce Canadian factory.

A British company intends to change the pension fund of factory workers to be “less profitable”. This worries workers who have contributed to their pension fund for years, says Cloé Zawadzki-Turcotte, trade union adviser at the National Confederation of Trade Unions (CSN).

“On my pension fund accumulated over three years, I must have lost $4,000. It continues to decrease since the transfer,” explains Serge Tourangeau, also an employee of Rolls-Royce Canada.

The negotiations focus on the abandonment of the defined benefit pension scheme and the wage freeze. These are management decisions that require workers to make major concessions, says François Énault, vice president of CSN.

A difference in the medical clause had been applied to new employees, who are now covered by a defined pension scheme, he explains. The British company now wants to use it for all employees. This new defined contribution plan shifts the risk onto the shoulders of employees, recalls François Énault.

Talks resumed last week between CSN, the UK head office and the government. Workers expect to return to work soon, emphasizes Frédéric Labelle. However, the last employer’s offer was rejected by 75% on July 24. The offer included an 18% raise.

“The current situation is unfortunate, but we all recognize the importance of continuing our discussions and the need to reach an agreement that will ensure the sustainable future of the company,” Rolls-Royce Canada management said by email. Media.