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Ex-Aveos workers fixed soon

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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The three-week trial between Air Canada and former Avios workers has now begun, with the final stage of pleadings beginning on Tuesday.

• Read also: Class action by former Aveos workers against Air Canada: suit begins October 4

• Read also: Air Canada’s broken promise is too much

Before Justice Marie-Christine Hevon of the Supreme Court of Quebec, teams of lawyers from each side will have three days to take turns presenting their arguments and reminding them of who, in their opinion, should be retained.

If the plaintiffs win, the airline could have to pay more than $150 million in compensation to some 2,600 former employees — including 1,800 from Quebec — who lost their jobs after Aveos closed in March 2012. Thus, their battle has dragged on for nearly a decade.

We cannot predict what the outcome of this trial will be. But whatever happens, a management professor and aeronautical expert from UQAM Mehran believes
Ebrahimi, these four weeks of listening are still worth it. This would at least be a reminder of the circumstances under which Montreal’s recognized expertise in aircraft maintenance has been completely frustrated. “

Aveos went bankrupt in 2012 after Air Canada, which is responsible for 90% of its revenue, withdrew many of its maintenance contracts. Its former employees allege that by doing so, Air Canada disregarded its obligations under its 1988 incorporation act, which required it to maintain repair and maintenance centers in Montreal, Mississauga and Winnipeg.

The teamwork, which began in 2017, is led by former Aveos employee Gilbert McMullen. On behalf of his former colleagues, he demands compensation for all economic, psychological and moral damages resulting from the closure of Air Canada’s repair centers.
He had a legal obligation to maintain it.

Over the past three weeks, dozens of former workers, CEOs, actuaries, and experts of all kinds have taken the stand to testify about their experience. Among the lottery, a special mention was made of a video conference from Toronto for the former CEO of Air Canada, Calin Rovinescu.

More than a dozen lawyers have been involved in this case for weeks. Next Tuesday is devoted to the arguments of the plaintiffs, represented by Trudel, Johnston, Lisperance and Jean-François Bertrand Avocats.

The next two days will be reserved for the defense, represented by Stikeman Elliott, the plaintiffs responded.

If all goes as planned, this trial will end on October 28.

The battle that some 2,600 former Avios employees are fighting in a Montreal court against Air Canada is not new. Its roots can be found in the 1988 law, passed by the government of Brian Mulroney, establishing the privatization of the airline.

Goals Teamwork

  • Former Air Canada and Aveos workers are seeking compensation for Air Canada’s failure to keep its repair and maintenance centers open following the closure of Aveos in March 2012.
  • They claim that Air Canada violated its founding act, the Air Canada Public Participation Act, which required it to maintain repair and maintenance centers in Montreal, Mississauga and Winnipeg.
  • In addition to compensation for damages caused, the actions are also aimed at obtaining punitive damages for violating the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
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Sage Avos


Ottawa passes the Air Canada Public Participation Act, turning the carrier, formerly a crown carrier, into a private company.

This act places a requirement on Air Canada to maintain maintenance and repair centers in the Montreal, Mississauga, and Winnipeg areas.


As part of the reorganization, Air Canada’s Technical Services Division (ACST) becomes a separate company.


Aveos was created with a mandate to take over the activities carried out until then by ACTS. Workers from the former Air Canada division are being moved to Aveos with their union accreditation.

March 2012

Air Canada’s states shrink in Avios. Aveos ceased its activities due to financial difficulties; 2,600 jobs were lost, including 1,800 in Quebec.

April 2012

The Public Prosecutor of Quebec initiates proceedings to prove that Air Canada is violating its founding law. Judge Castongoy blames Air Canada, which is appealing the case. The carrier again is unsuccessful.

February 2016

Philip Couillard drops lawsuits against Air Canada and promises to create a center of excellence for aircraft maintenance. For its part, the carrier pledges to order 45 CSeries aircraft from Bombardier.

May 2018

The Supreme Court agrees to hear a class action suit by former workers over Air Canada’s failure to keep its repair and maintenance centers open after March 2012.

October 2021

The trial began in a Montreal court. It will end on October 28.

What did they say

« [d’Aveos] There was no such plan. I would say it’s a silly suggestion. We wanted Aveos to survive. Air Canada supported the restructuring in 2010

To give it time to become more competitive, reduce costs and improve performance. ” [À propos d’une thèse voulant que le transporteur ait délibérément planifié la débâcle d’Aveos]- Calin Rovinescu, former CEO of Air Canada

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. «

The most difficult scenario we saw at the time was an orderly restructuring that would allow Aveos to continue providing its services to Air Canada. We didn’t plan for a complete shutdown in one day. “

– Michael Russo, current CEO of Air Canada. Air Canada CFO and Aveos Board Member in 2012.

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