Rolls-Royce sacks union leader during lockout

The industrial dispute at aerospace company Rolls-Royce Canada has escalated further with the recent sacking of a union leader accused by the employer of attempting to rotate a senior executive.

• Also read: Rolls-Royce: Workers want their share of the rise in private jets

The dismissed employee is Frédéric Labelle, President of the Rolls-Royce Canada Workers Union since 2016.

“Following an investigation lasting several weeks, conducted on our behalf by an outside company, we have come to the conclusion that the relationship of trust between Rolls-Royce Canada and Mr. Labelle has been definitively and irrevocably broken,” management said in a statement the sent protocol through a PR firm.

geolocation device

According to an informed source, Rolls-Royce discovered that an AirTag, an Apple geolocation device, was attached to the car of one of its leaders, who is also at the negotiating table.

Rolls-Royce has confirmed the device was linked to an Apple account owned by Frédéric Labelle, our source added.

Victim of a set up?

Accompanied by The newspaperMr. Labelle denies having committed any wrongdoing.

“We’re in the middle of a conflict, and all the low blows are going through it,” he said. It’s a lineup. I have nothing to blame myself for. »

The employee appeals against his dismissal. Despite the turn of events, he is still at the negotiating table. A meeting between the two parties took place yesterday in the presence of an arbitrator.

He retains the support of the PQ

Adding to the unusualness of the case, Frédéric Labelle is the Parti Québécois (PQ) candidate in the running for Blainville in the next elections.

“He’s still a candidate,” confirms François Leroux, PQ communications director. His dismissal is part of the industrial action. On our side we continue to monitor how it develops. It doesn’t affect his candidacy as we speak. »


The political formation challenges Rolls-Royce’s version of the facts.

“It is still very special to sack a worker who is a union leader during a lockout. It’s very rare,” commented Mr. Leroux.

Around 530 workers at Rolls-Royce in the Lachine neighborhood of Montreal have been locked out since March 15.

Violent labor dispute

The conflict is particularly virulent. In April, the employer admitted to using scab, which is illegal.

Last month, 150 union members pleaded not guilty to charges of contempt in court after protesting in parks near the homes of some of the company’s executives.

According to the trade union affiliated to the CSN, the employer wants to enforce a two-year wage freeze in particular.

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