100 Jazz Aviation employees laid off at Halifax maintenance site due to COVID-19

Chorus Aviation Inc. has laid off about 100 employees at its maintenance site in Halifax, according to Unifor Local 2002, the union that represents some of the company’s workforce.

The job losses are part of sweeping cuts Chorus is making across the country that will see it eliminate about 65 per cent of its staff, almost 3,200 employees. The layoffs were announced earlier this year after the COVID-19 pandemic led to a massive reduction in air travel.

A spokesperson from the company, which is headquartered in Halifax and leases aircraft to regional airlines, said the staff reductions were gradual and some took effect last week. The employees who lost their jobs were placed on inactive status a few months ago.

Euila Leonard, a spokesperson with Unifor, said the layoffs are all maintenance engineers working at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport for Jazz Aviation, which is operated by Chorus.

Leonard said there are traditionally about 350 maintenance employees at the Halifax location.

“The work continues at the Halifax site and as things start to turn around in the sector, I would anticipate a return to the pre-COVID staffing levels with the Jazz maintenance group,” she said.

Leonard said it’s a difficult time for all the workers in the aviation sector as travel restrictions continue.

“We could see this industry turn around, [but] it’s incumbent on the government to get involved and help let the public know it’s safe to travel,” she said. “We need to open up our borders sooner rather than later.”

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