Laid-off workers called back to build 10,000 respirators

CAE employees are proud to play a role in saving lives, the chief executive said

Laid-off workers called back to build 10,000 respirators

Montreal-based civil aviation training specialist CAE has called back 1,500 workers who were earlier furloughed, as the company prepares to build 10,000 respirators for Canadian hospitals.

CAE is designing and testing the Air1 respirator as part of an agreement with the government.

The company will also be receiving support through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, placing more than half of its furloughed employees back on the payroll.

The CEWS program will shoulder up to 75% of workers’ wages for companies that are reeling from severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: GM, Ford and Tesla aim to fast-track ventilator production

Marc Parent, chief executive officer at CAE, believes the subsidy allows businesses to be “better positioned to rebound when the current challenges have passed.”

“CAE employees,” he added, “are proud to play a role in saving lives by equipping the country with a made-in-Canada ventilator.”

Returning workers will be assigned to work from home as they complete the first batch of deliveries by early May.

CAE has also tapped into its supply chain to source N95 masks for frontline medical staff, and has since procured 100,000 units for the Quebec government.

READ MORE: Global firm to help develop medical equipment for COVID-19

The company, which employs a total of 10,500 workers, specialises in simulation-based training solutions for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare sectors.

Earlier this month, CAE announced it would temporarily lay off 2,600 employees and freeze the pay of other staff members as part of cost-cutting measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Taking decisive yet flexible action will help to protect our people and operations over the short-term and gives us the necessary agility to resume long-term growth when global air travel returns,” Parent said at the time. The CEO has also reportedly taken a 50% pay cut.


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