Tbnewswatch Local News
Tuesday July 7 2015
10:13 PM EDT
2014-07-12 at 18:13

Stepping back

Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino
tbnewswatch.com file photograph
Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino
By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Negotiations between workers and Bombardier have hit a snag as the target for a strike at the local plant is less than 48 hours away.

Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said he was informed Saturday evening the company was taking a step back from talks.

The primary points of contention are concessions the company is seeking from the union. Pasqualino would only say they involve pension and benefits.

“The union’s last offer to them included removing the concessions from the table and I guess they are not interested in doing that so they’re walking away from the bargaining table,” Pasqualino said.

In a statement Unifor national staff representative Andy Savela said, "(the company) rejected our last offer outright and walked away from the table."

The union has said workers will walk off the job at 2 p.m. Monday afternoon if an agreement has not been reached.

Pasqualino said the union’s negotiating team will continue to be available to continue the process if the company decides to resume discussions.

The national president of Unifor, Jerry Dias, is expected to arrive in Thunder Bay Sunday afternoon to meet with the bargaining committee.

A strike is not the preferred option, Pasqualino said.

Pasqualino is concerned a strike could negatively impact the workforce at the plant long-term, as some employees might seek other opportunities and not return to their posts.

“My biggest concern is that if it’s not settled we will have a hard time replacing the workers that work elsewhere. If it’s a likely strike our workers are certainly in demand in other places,” he said.

The previous contract expired on May 31 and workers had resoundingly given union brass approval to strike if talks were unsatisfactory. It has been reported 100 per cent of the skilled-trades workers and 99 per cent of the general membership supported job action.

The union represents close to 1,100 employees at the Thunder Bay plant.

Bombardier issued a statement to Dougall Media Saturday evening where they confirmed talks had hit a standstill, but expressed optimism a deal could be reached prior to the deadline. 

"Bombardier Transportation came to the negotiations table today with an even better competitive offer but yet Unifor Local 1075 is still adamant that they will not talk any concessions," the statement read.

"We are now at an impasse but remain hopeful that we can successfully reach an agreement before the strike deadline on Monday."

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moi says:
Get the picket signs ready.
7/14/2014 9:10:27 AM
albertallan says:
wouldn't it be nice just once to read informed comments?!
It's public business because almost all the trains built here are paid for with your tax dollars...
YES! The jobs are going/are gone to Mexico...
Sub-$25.00/hr wages for skilled trades is not "very well paid"...
There is nothing holding Bombardier here except easy access to our "infrastructure funds"(tax dollars)...
Workers at Bombardier Mexico earn about $3.00/hr...
No, my car was not made in Mexico, nor my phone...
Good point "just sayin'"...
All I want is my job. I'm asking for nothing more. Sadly, gas is $1.49/Litre and milk is near $6.00/3L so I cannot work for wages equal to Mexico. FYI, the Mexicans can't live decently on that either.
As long as there are poor people to exploit for obscene profits companies like Bombardier will do so at the cost of our livelihood. This will continue until our Gov'ts choose not to do business with such companies.
C'mon people.. keep up.
7/13/2014 10:05:24 PM
Murphy says:
Seriously "Cletus Van Damme". How often do you replace all these items made over seas and by non union workers.
Managers and not just at bombardier are fed the koolaid and know if they don't screw over the worker they will lose their bonus or even worse come in and lose their job.
All these people who work within unions they help turn a huge profit for these companies and help the mgmt recieve huge monetary pats on the back, and better benefits, better pensions. But the union workers should be the ones to have their pensions reduced or even worse taken away...benefits cut significantly...what happens to mgmt? Where is their cut? Where is their pension reduction? Where is their benefit reduction?
What's good for the goose...right? Let mgmt take huge cut...lead by example.
7/13/2014 7:09:09 PM
sawmillsteve says:
SG says:
Yes I want trains made by unskilled transient workers who make 1/3 of what these guys make. And lower wages always mean high turnover. What a great idea!
Mexicans value their jobs alot more than the overpaid, lazy, and take it for granted workers that are at Bombardier. Just look at Volkwagon....they make cars in Mexico and sell them back to North Americans
7/13/2014 6:27:01 PM
JIMMY2 says:
ANYONE TAKE A DRIVE PAST THERE TODAY???????? Tell me now there is no strike when they have barricaded the whole facility......
7/13/2014 1:44:49 PM
spooner19 says:
Seems to me the problem here is the unions, sure they get higher wages for there members and eventually it leads these companies to find other places to do there business. Why not go to Mexico where you can get the same work done for a fraction of what it is costing you here. It's business and that's the way it works like it or not.
7/13/2014 11:06:17 AM
nvjgu says:
I am surprized they haven't closed that plant, they don't need to be here.
7/13/2014 5:42:05 AM
Just Sayin' says:
Wake up and smell the coffee..Unions are killing manufacturing jobs in North America. They have already removed their R&D facility away from Thunder Bay, your workers are easily replaceable with half-priced labour elsewhere. Most likely scenario if they stay is that new workers are going to be making about a 1/3 of what these guys make with "grandfathering" in. Pass the buck to the next generation... Gravelle and Mauro might need to find a new place for a photo op.
7/13/2014 12:11:44 AM
SG says:
Yes I want trains made by unskilled transient workers who make 1/3 of what these guys make. And lower wages always mean high turnover. What a great idea!
7/13/2014 8:11:51 AM
Cletus Van Damme says:
And why not?

You are typed your comment on a computer made by them, and tomorrow will drive your car to work, also made by them. In fact, can you find one device in your home with a "made in the USA" or "made in Canada" sticker on it?
7/13/2014 11:09:08 AM
pc says:
nobody wants that to happen but in Ontario we have extremely high power rates, very well paid union members.
What would you have a company do?
Stay here and try to make a go of it. Or move to a better more industry friendly area?
Ontario is losing manufacturing jobs hand over fist and it will only continue.
It is just too expensive to stay here and try to compete in the world wide market.

7/13/2014 1:06:59 PM
SG says:
No it's not, that's just the kool-aid talking. I have the feeling you believe an Industry friendly area means low paid and without standards.

Why is it that the middle class always has to take the hit? Anybody ever wonder? Is it the high power rates? Or the packages given to the top tier executives? Well paid union members keep the economy going, don't kid yourself that the top paid people ever spend as much of what the middle class does.
7/14/2014 8:57:28 AM
musicferret says:
I see what you're getting at, but earning 1/3 of the wages in Mexico is actually a top tier job, and the factory would have the pick of the workforce. They would be highly sought after, stable, high paying jobs; by Mexican standards. As such, you get high quality employees, not just unskilled transient workers.

And that, in a nutshell, is why our manufacturing sector is being destroyed. Thanks NAFTA. And thanks to Harper for negotiating more free trade deals with Asian and European countries that have incredibly low wage rates. And thanks Harper for pushing the oil sands at all costs, leading to a huge inflation of the Cdn. $, making manufacturing here even more uncompetitive. The bank of Canada has reduced interest rates to zero and has tried to talk it down, but nothing is working at this point. Notice the jobs report the other day? Yup. Welcome to the new reality. All the eggs are in one basket, and that basket is out west.
7/13/2014 1:19:01 PM
Shark says:
Some people sure love to show off their stupidity. For one it's greedy shareholders and politicians that are killing the good jobs here. So why don't we just all work for 5 bucks a day like they do in Mexico. Then we can have 0 economy and end up with a two teared system 1% rich and 99% slaves. If we keep going down this road we will get there soon enough. Since this is the way you want it why don't you go to Bombardier and offer to work for the equivalent of what Mexicans get paid. Watch how fast your life turns to crap as there will be no economy if there are no good paying jobs.
7/13/2014 9:07:36 AM
Just sayin' says:
I'm too smart to work in a dead end job where I don't use my brain. The world has changed, unions and the people who work in them haven't.
7/14/2014 12:09:32 PM
Mystified says:
I am so glad that the timing in life got me and my wife out of Ontario. There is nothing but doom and gloom in the news.
Bombardier isn't going to pull out of Tbag because they have to much invested.
7/12/2014 11:55:54 PM
ranma says:
It's good to hear. Too many people are losing their pensions and benefits, while the companies they work for continue to make record profits. Your employees are more important than your shareholders.
7/12/2014 8:51:21 PM
Jack Frost says:
Black stormy clouds in "Thunder Bay" news...

"Lakehead Marine Industrial Inc. files for
bankruptcy" and now Bombardier "walking away
from the bargaining table.”

Bombardier are probably already packing their bags and calling for the movers for their BIG move to warm and sunny Mexico...

Good bye "Blunder Bay" and cold winters...

Sadly, there is "NO THUNDER" or hope left in this GLOOMY, DISMAL remote city by the Bay with no "Golden Future" on it's dark and disheartening horizons !!

Very SAD for most if not all indeed !!

7/12/2014 7:16:07 PM
sawmillsteve says:
Word on the street is that Bombardier is moving most of its operations to Mexico....cheaper cheaper cheaper!!
7/12/2014 6:53:33 PM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
lol.....the "word on the street" means nothing!


7/13/2014 11:41:05 AM
enos012 says:
I hear dthis as well. Also heard the compnay is tired of the workers treating it like thier own personal shopping ground. Tired of the messes left at the end of the day and the place looking like a pig sty....
7/13/2014 12:33:55 PM
betterbob says:
Why does the media only talk to the unions? Why not hear the management side of the story if you're going to report on something that isn't really the public's business anyway?

Unions will always spin things to make the employer look bad, even if they (unions) are the ones with unreasonable demands. Not saying that is the case here as I have nothing to do with either side.
7/12/2014 6:42:43 PM
SG says:
There is a statement from Bombardier there so I'm not sure what you're saying? Employers will always always spin it to make unions look bad too, my friend.
7/13/2014 8:09:56 AM
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