Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
12:35 PM EDT
2014-08-05 at 16:13

Bombardier, Unifor meet but not to negotiate new deal

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Representatives of Bombardier and the union representing its striking workers met Tuesday, but according to Unifor it wasn’t about issues that really mattered.

As 900 workers at the local Bombardier plant hit the picket line for the third week, the company and union met to discuss the finer points of a railway shipment protocol should the plant get ready to send finished cars to customers.

Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said there's no timeline on when cars could be shipped out, but the union will get 72 hours notice before that happens. There were at least a few cars that were near-completion when workers went on strike. Those cars could be finished by supervisors.

"Certainly once these few cars are done they would have trouble shipping anything else. It's not going to be on an ongoing basis as far as I can tell," Pasqualino said.

Pasqualino will take the points to the union executive and give the company an answer by Wednesday .

Talks Tuesday began with the union encouraging Bombardier to get back to the bargaining table, which should be at the forefront of any discussion between the two sides, Pasqualino said.

Getting people back to work is the main problem that needs to be solved.

"I think that in some ways the company is focusing on the wrong aspects. They should be focusing on getting a settlement at this point and hopefully we'll be able to come up with some solution to that," he said.

Company representatives told Pasqualino that they would bring that message back to plant head of operations Aaron Rivers.

The fact that Rivers isn't ever at the table, according to the union, is frustrating for its members because no one at the company table has the authority to make decisions.

"It's difficult for us," Pasqualino said.

Bombardier spokesperson Stephanie Ash said the company is in the process of getting ready to ship but wants to be respectful as possible to the protocol it agreed to with Unifor.

As for getting back to negotiations, Ash said the company has been saying since the beginning that it wants to head back to the bargaining table.

"However we cannot come back to the table if Unifor is not willing to talk about any compromises," she said.

No one currently employed will be affected by the union needs to be willing to negotiate the future.

"We really believe that there's no reason for these employees to be out there. We want them back to work," Ash said.

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fools annoy me says:
It never fails to amuse me as the union haters out there conveniently forget how these same industries support all their kids as summer jobs or the consumer base for their kids service related jobs. Half your parents worked in these factories/mines/elevators/railways to support you during your supposed education process in the first place. The same folks who believe only LU, Con College or the health care industry are educated and deserving of higher salaries are usually the ones who are against anything new in their neighbourhood or the ones who build in an area with a known problem like airport noise, shooting range, deer etc. When Thunder Bay becomes somewhere for your kids to sell fries or ice cream till they can escape, will you finally be happy? Sad to see.
8/8/2014 10:38:48 AM
MurryMcra says:
I think that people who work at Bombardier forget that about 11 years ago the plant was begging for work and was running with a skeleton crew. Lynn Peterson helped secure contracts for the Thunder Bay Bombardier plant.
8/6/2014 3:48:42 PM
anarnosti says:
The third last paragraph shows the company's frame of mind....."sure we'll talk....when you're ready to compromise and bend to our wishes"....no wonder there's no movement in these talks.
8/6/2014 3:21:20 PM
outside looking in says:
So, the company wants to negotiate some new changes for new employees hired and bring the benefit package up to date. I understand there is a wage increase in year 2 and 3 for all. The Union says No to any change for new employees not yet hired and no to any change for present staff.

Since only present staff are on strike and losing their pay to help staff not yet hired, it is like a game of chicken. Who will flinch first and give in. The longer this goes on, my money is on the company saying it has had enough and moveing south. So who actually loses here to protect future workers. I'll give you a hint. They are on strike now. I hope a settlement can be reached and all go back to work soon but the longer this goes on, the more difficult it becomes.
8/6/2014 2:36:15 PM
Westfortterri says:
This has become an issue of arrogance and pride on the unions part. They need to back down on the pension plan and get back to the table. But they won't because they will lose face. They will hurt their members badly before this is done.
8/6/2014 1:45:01 PM
bobguy says:
Here is a little lesson free of charge.

When you go on strike you are saying to your employer that you need me as an employee more than I need the paycheque thus you will be quick to come to the bargaining table.

Unfortunately to the workers, in this case Bombardier is saying they don't need the employees quite so desperately. Every day that Bombardier waits to negotiate, the union's bargaining position weakens.

Eventually the employees start to look to their leadership and question why they are losing 4,5,6... weeks of wages for someone who hasn't been hired yet or an increase in salary of??? 1% more than what was offered before the strike.

"a 3% wage hike only cost 6 weeks of lost wages...What a deal!!!"

Maybe someone should go talk to the boys from Northern Wood from 15 years ago and ask them what happens when you go on strike at the wrong time... That was a long cold wait to come back to work.
8/6/2014 12:12:38 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Unfortunate there is never a good time to strike, and very sad you can't work while they iron out details for new contracts like the essential service sectors. When a company wants to take things you already have and not for the new employees for ALL employees there's something wrong somewhere.
8/6/2014 3:26:27 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
You are correct in saying that it is never a good time to strike. Sad that you can't work until they iron it out, is it not the Unifor members who voted to go on strike in the first place?

The company has put an offer on the table that can be negotiated, is that not the whole purpose of negotiating? How can that happen when the Union bargaining committee won't back down from pension changes that DO NOT affect current workers. Negotiations are supposed to be about give and take, that isn't happening here.
8/8/2014 8:15:28 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Really tired of reading all this bull from all the union haters out there. Without any unions fighting for wages, job equality, health benefits, job safety, maternity leave and countless other issues you would still be working for three dollars an hour without anything else, so who is talking about the stone ages. Wake up and respect the unions, even if your not in one all of your wages and health and everything else you have has came from some union or another fighting for these things! Ya I told the truth again.
8/6/2014 12:08:03 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Times have changed, this union has not. In order to keep the plant open the company has to be competitive. In order to be competitive the company has to save money. It won't be long before the Asian companies set up shop here right next door to TTC and provide the same product cheaper. Look at what happened in the auto industry. Then what will the members of 1075 do for work? Because at that point 1300 people will be out of work all for people who aren't even employed there. I am not a union hater but have a real tough time supporting people who have clearly lost touch with reality and are only concerned about lining the pockets of the union executive with dues. Keep in mind people like Dias and Pasqualino are drawing pay from Unifor while 900 people are getting nothing.
8/8/2014 8:26:41 AM
octane says:
These guys need to get back to work.
Bombardier will just shut this plant down.
No need to keep it here.
This is the poorest performing plant for Bombardier.
Unions are for the dinosaurs.
Get with the times.
8/6/2014 11:30:26 AM
educator says:
Without the "union dinosaurs", we wouldn't have pension plans, paid sick days, paid holidays, paid benefits, paid overtime, safety standards and a lot of other things we take for granted in the work place.

Of course, it's easy to sit back and judge the unions from your lofty perch in the coffee shop as you gulp cup after cup of java.
8/6/2014 1:15:34 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
What you have is a professional going against a rookie. It seems the pro knows what he is doing and the rookie....well is just out in left field with the glove on the wrong hand.

You want a signing bonus. Ha! You make me laugh! I would even go so far to say I think life will be a lot different when you do go back to work. From what I've heard the union was running the place. That's not how it works boys.
8/6/2014 9:59:51 AM
conker2014 says:
I love how none of the commenters have comprehended anything that the company has said. The company is willing to negotiate as long as the union is willing to accept some concessions. So in fact it is the union who is not coming to the bargaining table.

I also wonder how long the union will hold out fighting for people who do not even work for Bombardier yet. From what I have read in these stories, the company does not want to take anything or very little from the current employees and wants to change the type of pension that new employees that have not yet been hired will receive. We shall see how long the needs of the future will outlast the needs of the present.
8/6/2014 8:32:47 AM
Wazzman says:
So the union wants to get this going but the its seems like the company only concern is to ship one or maybe two cars by managment why to get the union fired up and then try to flip it and say the union is unreasonable how sad, i hope people would rely read this and understand what really the company plans are just a sad day i feel for all of the workers that are on strike and their families
8/5/2014 10:46:02 PM
Joe-King says:
They voted for it so why feel bad for something that they wanted??
8/6/2014 10:01:28 AM
damanisback says:
no one currently will be affected.
- now i want a signing bonus and every lie they tell to the media it goes up another hundred.
-this new management team wont last very long if and when this is over. they usally only get a few years before they ship them off somewhere else.
-tired of training them anyways and dont get payed for it either.
8/5/2014 9:30:44 PM
TBAY Opinion says:
Entering week 5, sounds like this one has a ways to go yet.
8/5/2014 8:33:40 PM
orca says:
I can't comprehend the second to the last paragraph.
8/5/2014 7:17:20 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
900 employees, numerous businesses and all the people who use the TTC in Toronto all waiting on 1 guy at the table. Wow, what a power trip for him? Disappointing if you ask me, pure greed.
8/5/2014 4:34:16 PM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
Another example of an over paid manager not doing their job with no consequences. If he doesn't want to sit back at the bargaining table then fire him and get someone that will. We need these workers back working more then we need one manager.
8/5/2014 4:19:50 PM
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