Plant workers striking over 15 cent pay raise
CORRECTION: A previous version of this web story incorrectly said the workers had been offered a 15 per cent pay raise over three years. It should have stated a 15 cent pay raise. We apologize for the error.
One of the Ottawa Valley's oldest and biggest manufacturing plants lies still as hundreds of its employees strike for better wages and pensions.
Haley Industries in Haley Station has been making parts for the aviation industry for 60 years, working on the Avro Arrow and linked to the F35 fighter jet program.
All 388 of its manufacturing employees have walked out because they say they aren't seeing the benefits of a booming business, only offered a 15 cent pay increase over three years.
"They want to have a decent acceptable wage increase to allow them to make ends meet," said David Lipton, Steelworkers Union co-ordinator. "They're also a bit concerned about a reduction in the proposed pension benefit."
Parent company Magellan Aerospace said it's being cautious because of economic uncertainty and changes needed to manufacture the next generation of military aircraft, like the F35s.
Employees say that military contracts are only a part of what they do, also working on lightweight parts for civilian aircraft.
"There's been no downturn here," said employee Charles Pilgrim. "We're still making our parts and we're still making our monthly quotas; we're making money there's no doubt."
Others point out that it's one of the last manufacturers in the region in jeopardy. The plant is about 20 kilometres north of Renfrew.
"Business is booming so spread the wealth," said employee Gail Obst. "It stays in the valley and keeps our valley going.
"We come all from the valley - Pembroke, Petawawa, people from Quebec work here. We spend out money in the valley, it keeps store owners working and keeps everyone else in jobs."
Employees said Thursday they don't see an end to their strike in the near future.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's John Hua