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Cascade Aerospace strike ends with settlement

Unionized workers at Cascade Aerospace on Townline Road near the Abbotsford Airport began walking the picket line on June 4. - Vikki Hopes file photo
Unionized workers at Cascade Aerospace on Townline Road near the Abbotsford Airport began walking the picket line on June 4.
— image credit: Vikki Hopes file photo

Unifor members at Abbotsford's Cascade Aerospace facility have ratified a settlement offer that will see workers back on the job Monday after an 11-week-long strike.

A vote saw 96 per cent of members opt for the new four-year deal, which will result in greater job security and avoid cuts to young workers' benefits, according to a union press release issued Friday morning.

"This strike was always about keeping good, stable jobs in Abbotsford, and our members achieved that," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President, in a press release. "I'm very proud of our members' commitment to defending good jobs now, and for the future."

The settlement includes significant wage increases, higher premiums for confined spaces work, and a written commitment to maintain Abbotsford as the primary heavy maintenance facility for RCAF C-130 aircraft, according to the union.

Unifor represents 440 aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs), interior technicians, painters, stores, maintenance, planning clerks, sheet metal mechanics and other workers at the Abbotsford facility.

Cascade, which is owned by Halifax-based IMP Group, also praised the deal, which came after independent mediators made recommendations last week to find middle ground between the parties.

In a press release, the company said the deal ensures Cascade "is well positioned to compete in the international marketplace, which is integral to our continued success [and] ensures we meet our current customer commitments."

“We recognize this has been a challenging time for all of our employees and resolutions can be difficult after a strike. However, I have faith that all our employees will rise to challenge and we looking forward to a new era at Cascade Aerospace,” said Ben Boehm, Cascade's executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

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