MDA Space strike continues as management refuses to negotiate with workers

Workers with raised fists stand in front of the MDA Space headquarters in Brampton, Ontario

April 19, 2024


BRAMPTON—Fifty workers remain on strike this week at the flagship headquarters of MDA Space while the company refuses to continue negotiations and resolve the labour dispute.

“It is a staggering contrast that management at MDA Space, on the one hand, have the crucial role of advancing Canadian space technology and, on the other hand, are unwilling or incapable of bargaining a collective agreement covering a group of 50 dedicated, highly skilled workers,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “Advanced aerospace manufacturing is no place for staging theatrics and playing games, particularly when MDA Space receives a generous amount of public dollars.”

MDA Space, the future home of the Canadarm3 and a key player in NASA’s lunar Gateway space station project, has been awarded substantial contracts. These include a $269 million contract for the next phase of the Gateway project, a $250 million contract for supporting robotics operations on the International Space Station, and approximately $25 million from the Ontario government to fund its new global space headquarters.

Unifor represents 50 workers at MDA Space in Brampton, Ontario who perform a wide range of production, office, and clerical duties for the company. In the days leading up to a strike deadline set for the morning of April 8, the company communicated that it would not participate in further negotiations with Unifor. At issue in the negotiations were a combination of economic issues including insufficient wage increases, pension contributions, and protection against rising living costs.

“Rather than taking their ball and going home, the Company needs to return to the table and make every effort to reach an agreement that works for both parties, not just MDA,” added Payne. “If we can make the Canadarm3, surely we can reach a collective agreement.”

Despite the union’s attempts to continue negotiations with MDA Space, the company has failed to agree to further bargaining dates.

MDA Space workers on strike