Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
1:21 AM EDT
2014-07-17 at 15:00

Picket protocol

Hundreds of striking Bombardier employees gathered at the CLE Coliseum Thursday morning for a meeting on strike protocol.
Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
Hundreds of striking Bombardier employees gathered at the CLE Coliseum Thursday morning for a meeting on strike protocol.
By tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY - Allan Tamminen has been a machinist at the local Bombardier plant for nearly 20 years, but with a strike four days in, he's considering all his employment options.

"Everybody's got a mortgage to pay," he said Thursday morning at the CLE Coliseum where striking Bombardier employees met with union officials to discuss strike protocol.

“Nobody can survive on strike pay," said Tamminen, who says if the strike isn't over in about six weeks, he'll have to start looking for other work.

The strike wage is $250 weekly and the workers have to spend 18 hours per week on the picket line.

Tamminen said he knew a strike was likely and fortunately planned for it.

"I have a contingency," he said.

Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said the meeting was called to discuss any strike-related issues, including details of the last proposal from the company, how to pick up their cheques and behaviour on the picket line.

The Coliseum was packed for the meeting and Pasqualino said he'd never seen a crowd like it before.

"Everybody is interested. Everybody is involved," he said.

On Wednesday, Bombardier announced it was seeking an injunction over safety issues on the picket line.

Both union and company officials are meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss strike protocol and address any safety issues.

"Our intention is to make sure the picket line is safe and nobody is going to be threatened or feel unsafe or hurt in that picket line," said Pasqualino. "That's what our goal is."

Bombardier spokesperson Stephanie Ash said they are still preparing the information to file the injunction, and echoed the fact that the afternoon meeting is about developing a protocol to ensure safety on the picket line.

"It's about working together, collaborating. We want Unifor employees who are on that picket line to be safe as well as other employees who are trying to get to work today and the rest of the week," she said.

Ash said there were still difficulties Thursday morning for people trying to cross the picket line.

Buses carrying employees weren't allowed to cross the line and other employees, including management, had to get out of their vehicles and cross on foot.

The company is also doing its best to minimize the impact of the strike on its customers, said Ash.

There are about 900 employees on strike with another 400 Bombardier employees who have to cross the line to get to work.



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Murphy says:
Ok "zacm1" that is just ignorance. You are belittling somebody who decided to get into a trade and get a good paying job who probably has a family to feed mortgage to pay and bills to pay. I don't know about you but my mortgage is close if not over $1000/month. I couldn't survive on strike pay.
Good for you if you can survive on $1000/month. Let's judge you for a second....this means you are either loaded, live at home or are milking the system?!?! Which is it?
These people aren't striking for greed. They are striking for their future plus the future of anyone's kids that might work there. They give everything up now they will end up like resolute. I hope bombardier loses these strikers to work out west and these ppl make a ton of money and live happily ever after. Then the mgmt can keep drinking the corporate koolaid and be blinded and hire less than qualified ppl to do these jobs and the province stops funding them.
7/18/2014 1:26:08 PM
donnybrook says:
Actually your attitude towards "zacm1" is ignorance. Not everyone is given the opportunity to go to college or university or even to complete highschool due to circumstances; maybe their parents were in the same position as these strikers at some point in time, maybe they worked for Abitibi or Great Lakes and lost their jobs and their world fell apart, you have no idea. So your mortgage is over $1000 a month, great for you. Consider that underdeveloped countries could feed an entire community for a month with a thousand dollars, then maybe you'll start to see things in perspective. It's all about greed, people wanting more and more and never stop to appreciate what they already have. It could be a lot worse, you could not have any drinking water, so buck up and be thankful already.
7/18/2014 3:52:45 PM
varga says:
Nobody WANTS a strike except to stand up to bad faith negotiations. The Union makes no money off a strike, the company makes no money while its employees are not working and the employees get peanuts and that is only until the strike fund runs out and then they get NOTHING! Anyone not in a Union complaining about others that are going on strike should keep their ungrateful and ignorant comments to themselves. If not for strikes and the labour movement we would still have child labour, no women in the workforce, no 40 hour work week, no weekends, no minimum wage, no worker rights and no labour laws and those are just the things Unions have done for EVERYONE union and non-union alike!! I also love all this sympathy for the poor little global corporation that is Bombardier and THEIR hardships! These workers are contributing members to our community! They are the ones you should feel for instead of being jealous that they have jobs that allow them to stand up for us all in the end!
7/18/2014 12:10:49 PM
Royalflush says:
Many good posts. Varga, yours was the best! Right on!
7/19/2014 8:06:28 PM
donnybrook says:
Sorry I got confused, thought this was another story about the bridge. You know, the little guys try to take on the giants, the little guys lose. You know how it goes.
7/18/2014 10:55:57 AM
tbayguitard says:
Who's bullying who?
It's the company that proposed this contract that the workers do not accept. The media always seems to side with companies (because they pay for advertising) and comments made by company spokespeople always have their "spin" on it and the sheep are supposed to take it as the truth. The middle class worker has been bullied since the 90's while CEO salaries have become disgustingly high. I support the workers in this strike. They are fighting for a standard of living. Even tho the short term pay will cause some struggling - it's in the long term that the workers will benefit with maintaining their standard of living. If you believe this company will move to Mex then believe me it's been part of their plan for many years and by putting the blame on the workers for them leaving - wouldn't that be ideal for their PR and makes unions look bad making the whole labour scene better for their corporate buddies to bully workers while protecting Corporate salaries.
7/18/2014 10:45:47 AM
allaboutthetruth says:
Here is what I have been told:

The pension is not eliminated for people under 5 years. The type of plan is proposed to change from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution. The company still pays into it and the employee contributes.

The benefit plan is archaic and needs to be revamped. How it is revamped is yet to be seen, that has to be negotiated with the company, union and insurance company. New employees who retire with BBD are proposed to get a payout to buy benefits at BBD prices which is 1/3 of market cost.

Cost of living allowance is still there just not rolled into base wage from previous contract.

OT - Why should someone be allowed OT on the weekend if they didn't work the full week?

No raise in year one but something in year 2 & 3. Non-unionized employees didn't get a raise this year.

The deal is not perfect but is negotiable. Both parties need to sit down and talk though.
7/18/2014 9:53:35 AM
TBTNFL says:
All people should have Cost of living and a yearly raise unionized or not. Minimum wage does not cut the mustard for anyone and is brutally unfair while managers and CEO's become exorbitantly rich off the backs of base employees. The union asks they share the wealth with the people who actually build the trains. Also, you never got the memo but Bombardier offered 300 dollars for peoples pensions not this market value nonsense.
7/18/2014 10:33:27 AM
allaboutthetruth says:
Oh contraire, I did get the memo presented to me, I work there. I agree that all workers should get COLA but guess what? Non-unionized employees (meaning those of us who are unclassified NOT management) got nothing this year.

Bombardier did not offer $300 for people's pensions, they offered that for benefits at retirement, completely different than a pension.

Please educate yourself.
7/18/2014 4:13:01 PM
moi says:
sorry alla...apparently "TBTNFwhatever" is too busy retorting to too many comments to...
"educate themselves"
You watch and see how fast members start turning on one another--the finger pointing has already started--the membership will blame the executive,the executive will blame the company.. the company will blame the union, and..."the beat goes on" as the song goes.
Bombardier 1, Union 0. This isn't the 60's or 70's, where unions actually carried some clout--those days are LONG gone, and it's too bad the unifor members picketing at Thunder Bay are so blind to see that the company they (at the moment) love to hate will soon close the gates forever...hey, get those resumes dusted off,and start applying at other jobs.With neither the company or union budging on anything,I'm guessing looking for a new job,will become the norm for union members at Bombardier TB. If the union thinks that Bombardier will give into their demands..think again.Mexico's lookin' better every day.
7/21/2014 7:34:33 PM
yellowsnow says:
@hotchoc. I believe Bombardier is trying to avoid issues like GM has with penisons. According to Wiki, GM is paying out 3.8 full pensions for every 1 active worker.

I support eliminating a pension for anyone under 5 years. Put in your time and show you want to work.

I would like to see what they mean by 'elimination of cost of living', and overtime should be restricted.

Companies are tired of getting pushed around by unions.

I too would like to see the government get involved, and abolish unions altogether.
7/18/2014 8:56:31 AM
TBTNFL says:
What about workers being tired of being pushed around by companies? Remember this company only get's paid by Canadian tax dollars. The fact their management is paid such high rates and they want to give their workers table scraps is unacceptable. Especially when our tax dollars are footing the bill. You can cut from the workers all you want, these rich managers get richer, workers get become poor, and taxes keep going up. The savings never seem to be passed down.
7/18/2014 10:36:40 AM
prickeral says:
No one ever wins with a strike - ask anyone!

The actions by some of your members in the past 4 days is unbelievable; a young man blow's an airhorn in a women's face is what? Acceptable practise. If your grandmother or sisters or children were walking down the street and someone did that I am sure you would not be happy and call the police.
Bragging that COPE members were joining your line as they are our brothers and sisters has got them what?? Suspensions?? Wow another family without a wage - was it worth it - will they ever do it again - NO!
Delaying the buses and cars excessively now seems funny to you but I am sure you all have heard of payback. When COPE goes on strike it will be a ??? when they make Unifor brothers & sisters wait 4 hours or more when the rolls become revearsed. Big brother is watching you, so please don't do anything inappropriate that could cost you your job when everything the liquid lunches they don't help!
7/18/2014 3:40:09 AM
TBTNFL says:
As if you would blame cope or unifor for these unjust suspensions. They came out to the line on their own time and is none of the companies business what they do on their own time.
7/18/2014 10:38:19 AM
hotchoc says:
I would like to comment about the greedy workers here at Bombardier.

the company has publicly said they were disappointed that the union turned down a good offer. This is what I have been told.

The elimination of the pension plan for anyone under 5 years
Elimination of major sections of their benefit plan
Elimination of cost of living
Restrictions on how to get overtime
No raise increase

Now someone tell me. For a company getting filthy rich on taxpayer money, does this really sound like a fair and equitable deal.

Gov'ts don't often get involved in this stuff but I would like to see a message from the gov't to Bombardier. Deal fairly with these employees or see some of these contracts that you have been given directly, dry up.

I do not see how anyone can blame the union for being on strike given this ridiculous offer from the company.

And if I am wrong about these sections, then please TBT, tell us what the final offer from the company really was.
7/17/2014 11:14:32 PM
prickeral says:
If there was a contract handed out to the bargaining and they sat on it all day - who wanted the strike? Having the "Big Boys" come in had nothing to do with us but coming to Thunder Bay two objectives were targeted. So they big guns didn't come for just you. Did anyone see the offer - I didn't get one when asked...getting skeptical sorry guys...Where's the Truth?
7/18/2014 3:55:23 AM
hardrawkin says:
Wrong on all. You should take the time to find out the facts.
7/18/2014 5:51:19 AM
orca says:
Oh yes, TBT has the presentation that Bombardier made, which will expose that the union is only giving out half truths. I am sure that even the workers are not aware of the exact details of the offer.

But I doubt if TBT will publish that one. I even doubt if they will publish this comment.

I support the workers but not the union leaders!!!
7/18/2014 9:00:00 AM
TBTNFL says:
The union leaders also work at the plant and make the same wage the rest of the workers. I'm not sure what kind of magical scheme you think they are planning but you are clearly uneducated about the topic.
7/18/2014 10:26:22 AM
stridepark says:
Oh no, everyone won't get a raise even though only a small percentage of workers probably work hard enough to have actually earned one? How tragic.

Plenty of us would be happy to have these jobs even with the "cuts". I'm sure these workers will still have fantastic benefits - that they should be thankful for. We are lucky to live in Ontario where many things are covered by OHIP anyway. Overtime should absolutely be restricted and if you don't understand why then clearly you have never worked in a management position. Many people don't have a pension and do this thing called "saving money" on their own.

This just feels like the new Union is trying to make a point and show how "great and powerful" they are.
7/18/2014 9:48:25 AM
TBTNFL says:
Your snide remarks are quite distasteful. Everyone at that plant works hard and puts up with a lot of stress. Bombardier is not a well managed company. They are very top heavy. If you want to talk about people who have it easy and get a huge cheque, how about the directors who sit in an air conditioned office pushing paper all day making 205 000 a year plus their 50 000 bonus. Still think a ten cent raise is crazy to ask for?
7/18/2014 10:30:16 AM
moi says:
Judging by your comments TBTwhatever....I'd say,
"your snide remarks are quite distasteful".
7/21/2014 7:02:36 PM
Shark says:
As an employee of Bombardier I can tell you that you are correct but you forgot a couple of other concessions that the company wants. They also want to take away afternoon break and be able to change your shift at a moments notice ie. today you work day shift, tomorrow you work nights or what ever they decide. You get 25 min for lunch and 15 min for break with a 5 min wash up time included. They want to take away the 5 min wash up time. Which would end up giving you a 20 min. lunch and a 10 min break. You are not allowed to eat or drink on the floor so it would end up meaning there will be no break for the people that work at the far end of the plant as it would take their whole lunch to walk to the lunch room and back. We are asking for nothing extra, just to stay the same as some huge concessions were already made by the employees in the last contract. Considering with out employees there would be no Bombardier, all we ask is to receive our fair share of the profits.
7/18/2014 10:29:19 AM
zachm1 says:
Quote "Nobody can survive on strike pay," said Tamminen, who says if the strike isn't over in about six weeks, he'll have to start looking for other work. The strike wage is $250 weekly and the workers have to spend 18 hours per week on the picket line."
So you cannot make it on $1000.00 a month. Boo Hoo to you! $250.00 a week for 18 hours of of holding up a sign and doing squat. That's 13.88 an hour. Give me the sign and I'll take the money. Too many people living high on the hog with never a thought that maybe someday, the cash cow runs dry. Try surviving on a pension, ODSP or a minimum wage job. No sypathy here. Keep striking and all your jobs go south. You know the old saying You don't know what you got till it's gone.
7/17/2014 7:28:16 PM
TBTNFL says:
You cannot survive on 1000 a month when you have a mortgage, mouths to feed, and a car payment. You want to talk about living high on your hog? How about you come down and talk to the people on the picket line instead of being an internet warrior. You want to see unfair? How about the 25 or so directors working at the plant making 205, 000 a year plus a 50 000 or so bonus every year? Or the CEO who asked for these concessions who flew off on his private jet to go on vacation for two weeks. Perhaps you don't understand how the economy works and how the middle class floats this country. When everyone is making minimum wage with you I'm sure you will be the first to complain about the economic crash. Do you even know what the union asked from the company? If not go to the line I'm sure they will gladly show you what the offer is.
7/18/2014 10:23:52 AM
rubberducky says:
I was told by two Bombardier employees they actually are required to strike for only EIGHT (8) hours a week. The reporter should verify this.

So, that works out to $31.25 an hour actually, which is more than I make an hour, and I have a blood Master's Degree.
7/18/2014 11:29:01 AM
TBTNFL says:
Those employees you spoke to were mistaken, It's three, six hour shifts. So 13.89 an hour for the 18 hours required. Of if you wanna look at it as a 40 hour work week 6.25 an hour. Regardless it is not much.
7/21/2014 2:28:46 AM
eventscentre says:
Come on guys, let's get it together on this one as quick as we can. I don't like the thought of children suffering on account of an impasse in negotiations. Let's get a deal done and quick!
7/17/2014 6:28:11 PM
moi says:
The prez forgot to finish that statement...
..."Everyone is interested,Everyone is involved"..
what he neglected to add was..
"And No One's Working". Ask the workers,in a couple weeks, if they think this strike is still worth it...
7/17/2014 5:29:22 PM
TBTNFL says:
Tell us more about if it's worth giving up your pension for 300 dollars. That is what the company offered employees under 5 years.
7/18/2014 10:15:29 AM
stridepark says:
How was a bus of employees "not allowed" to go to work? Who decided they weren't allowed?
7/17/2014 3:58:05 PM
sg says:
Oh they were most certainly allowed to go to work but they had to get out of the bus and cross the picket line on foot. What's so bad about that?

My guess is the company wants those buses to cross so they can bring in scab labour....
7/18/2014 8:58:32 AM
stridepark says:
Either the article has been edited or I did not read carefully as I didn't see the part about them crossing on foot.

Did management decide that vehicles wouldn't enter the property, or are these thugs deciding they won't get out of the way to allow them to cross?
7/18/2014 10:32:51 AM
TBTNFL says:
These thugs you speak about are mothers fathers brothers sister husbands and wives. It's so easy to speak down about them and dehumanize them when you label them a thug isn't it?
7/18/2014 10:44:30 AM
sg says:
Nice. Management is called management but union members are called thugs? What's wrong with you?
7/18/2014 10:50:46 AM
Eastender says:
Actually its the other way around. Its the company that are the THUGS! Not the workers. Get it straight! Eh!
7/19/2014 9:29:34 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
4 days in and you are considering employment! You serious! I guess striking is better than working without a contract. Smart move kids.
7/17/2014 3:22:23 PM
unknowncronik says:
keep spending more than you make....
come strike time, all yer toys get sold off & you still owe monies on them....

too many want toys now instead of saving for it, which gets you nowhere in the long run...

but its always too late for too many

7/18/2014 11:17:27 AM
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