THUNDER BAY -- A judge will not be revisiting a picket line protocol for striking Bombardier workers in this city until at least next Thursday.
An injunction hearing between Bombardier and Unifor, the union that represents the nearly 900 striking employees of the Montreal Street plant, went before the courts Thursday. But the judge adjourned the matter to Aug. 7, leaving the original picket line protocol agreed to by both the union and company last week in place.
Bombardier attempted to bring the protocol back to the courts after claiming the union had breached it. The accusations of a breach followed an incident in which union members forced the company's head of operations, Aaron Rivers, to wait more than an hour to enter the site. The court-ordered protocol allowed the union to hold people from crossing the line for a maximum of 25 minutes.
Despite the delay, Bombardier spokeswoman Stephanie Ash said the company had reasons to be please about Thursday’s adjournment.
“We were pleased that (the judge) expressed her concerns about the potential for violence,” Ash said during an phone interview with CKPR Radio Thursday afternoon. “(The judge) made it very clear to Unifor that they did need to abide by the original court-ordered strike protocol agreement.”
Bombardier originally sought the court-ordered protocol because of safety concerns for the 400 non Unifor employees who are expected to cross the line daily.
On Monday, Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino told tbnewswatch.com that the pickets were upset that Rivers wasn’t talking to the bargaining committee in an effort to end the labour dispute.
“Our guys are getting frustrated,” he said, explaining the most recent picket-line standoff.
Supply trucks were also blocked from crossing the line on Monday. Pasqualino said the union members were upset that the supply trucks trying to access the site were bringing in parts of the assembly production line.
“I think that really they should be at the bargaining table and dealing with resolving the issues rather than trying to bypass the bargaining and trying to build the cars on their own,” he said on Monday.