One of Quebec's largest unions is seeking a court injunction that would force Air Canada to reopen a maintenance center in Montreal.
The Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ) wants the airline to respect a Quebec Court of Appeal decision that confirmed it had violated its articles of incorporation when it failed to re-open a maintenance centre that went bankrupt more than three years ago.
It filed the request for an injunction in Quebec Superior Court on Friday.
Federal legislation, passed in 1988 to privatize Air Canada, required the airline keep its heavy maintenance operations in Winnipeg, Montreal and Mississauga.
But Aveos — the company that ran Air Canada's Montreal maintenance centre — went out of business in 2012, laying off more than 2,000 employees.
The Quebec government had initially promised to defend the former Aveos employees as Air Canada vowed to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
But Quebec and Air Canada agreed to put the case on hold as part of the airline's decision to buy at least 45 Bombardier C-Series jets.
Quebec gave Bombardier a $1.32-billion subsidy last fall in an effort to save its passenger jet program.
Serge Cadieux, the FTQ's secretary general, accused the Quebec government of striking a deal with Air Canada behind the back of the unions representing the former Aveos workers.
"Quebec can't afford to let go 1,800 specialized and well-paid employees," Cadieux said.
"There must be a way for justice to be respected in this country."
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has promised to clarify Air Canada's articles of incorporation.