Pratt & Whitney Canada, Airbus Canada cut Quebec jobs due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic

With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the airline industry particularly hard, aerospace manufacturers Pratt & Whitney Canada and Airbus Canada Limited Partnership both announced hundreds of job cuts in Quebec on Friday.

The Unifor union said in a statement the 343 Pratt & Whitney Canada layoffs would be effective as of May 22. The cuts also include employees opting for early retirement.

Pratt & Whitney Canada employees around 2,400 unionized workers in Quebec, with most of those jobs being in Longueuil, Mirabel and the Laurentians.

Negotiations between the company and Unifor had been ongoing for several days before the announcement. Last week, the union estimated layoffs could affect between 20 and 30 per cent of the unionized workforce, or up to 720 people.

Pratt & Whitney Canada management declined to comment.  

In Mirabel, where Airbus Canada manufactures the A220 -- formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries -- 350 workers will be laid off as of Monday.

An Airbus Canada spokesperson said there is no return date for the workers, who are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, saying only it would take place when there is "clearer visibility" of the market. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2020.

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