Aerospace industry sounds alarm on the eve of the federal election

MONTREAL — Aerospace workers are “sounding the alarm” to coax concrete commitments to help secure their sector’s future in Canada from the federal parties ahead of the coming election.In a new report, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) warns of “the absence of a long-term vision,” which could cause problems down the line despite the industry’s healthy employment and output.The 130-page document recommends implementing a pan-Canadian strategy to better co-ordinate industry efforts.David Chartrand, head of the union’s Quebec chapter, says other parts of the world are growing their aerospace sectors through “concrete action.”He also says a pan-Canadian strategy must help Quebec — which houses half of the Canadian aerospace sector — reinforce one of its “most important economic pillars.”In March, a study by the Canadian Aviation and Aerospace Council found that employees in those fields are generally older than the average Canadian worker.The study says about one-third of Canada’s aerospace workforce will retire within five years, resulting in a need for 55,000 new workers by 2025.The Canadian Press