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Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday May 23 2015
3:17 AM EDT
2014-08-08 at NOON


Matt Vis,
By Matt Vis,

THUNDER BAY -- Bombardier could be looking at bringing outside help into the city’s plant as the labour dispute with Unifor Local 1075 approaches four weeks.

A Bombardier lawyer on Thursday told a court hearing that the company has no plans to bring in replacement workers, but immediately admitted that Bombardier employees from other locations could be brought to the Thunder Bay plant.

Company spokeswoman Stephanie Ash on Friday said it is common for employees to travel and visit other Bombardier facilities to lend expertise, and that Thunder Bay staff had done the same in the past.

However, that does not eliminate the possibility of those imported workers performing the tasks that had been previously done by the now striking  Unifor employees.

“Not necessarily, but we’re also not ruling that out. There’s always that possibility,” Ash said when asked if the employees would be coming in a replacement worker capacity.

“It’s more related to if there are specific areas of expertise we feel we don’t have that we feel are needed to continue production.”

Ash said at this time there is no timeframe for when the company might start bringing workers into the Montreal Street plant.

The local president of the union representing the 900 striking members disputes the claims that the company does not have any firm plans for when workers will arrive.

Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said rumours are circulating among the membership that two specialists will be on their way to Thunder Bay for testing the current management is not equipped to do.

“We’re upset at that,” Pasqualino said. “We weren’t happy with management working on the cars but this is bringing it up to a new level.”
That would be just the beginning of people coming in until there is a full workforce, he added.

Making the announcement does not mean bringing in outside help is imminent nor was it meant to spark fear into the striking Unifor members, but rather to serve as a courtesy and a sign of transparency and good faith, Ash countered.

“It’s basically to say we’re not ruling out the fact we might need to ask some of our partners in our other sites to come in and help us out if the need arises,” she said.

“We’re trying to be open and honest about the realities of this labour disruption and the impact it has on the customer. We will be continuing production to the best of our abilities.”

There was another dispute on the line Friday morning, as the company prepared to ship out a completed light rail car.

Pasqualino accused the company of not properly notifying the union, adding they were trying to sneak the car out the side Neebing Avenue gate.

Ash said the union was told of the impending move of the Rocket car during a Tuesday meeting, and that moving the car by road is not covered in the protocol agreement. Only rail-transported cars require 72 hours of notice to the union.

Attempting to ship the cars out of the Neebing Avenue exit would be a safer option than out of the primary Montreal Street gates, she added

However, the union denied that request and the company will go ahead and is planning to remove the car out of the plant through the Montreal Street exit later Friday.

The two sides had met on Wednesday, which Pasqualino said was a step forward. He is concerned the possibility of bringing in outside workers and the conflict over moving the car may jeopardize the momentum.

Ash said there is currently no timeframe for when negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement will resume.

They are also awaiting a judge’s decision over the picket line protocol.

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gurty says:
Hi ho, hi ho, off to Mexico we (you) go!
8/11/2014 6:28:09 PM
Bob Roberts says:
Majority of Union (Unifor) or any other North American Union represenatives are mere puppets and mouthpieices lacking higher education, business acumen and the Union Executive leadership for the most part have not ever been proactive in understanding the real business world and cooperative management of dealing with large multi national corporations exploring a working partnership for the benefit of all. Yes Unions in NA have served a purpose 50-30 years ago. Times are a changing and Unions in NA have not moved out of the "dark ages". Do union members ever see less Union dues during tough times. Strikes don't benefit anyone (company or union members). In Europe Union representatives and excutives all have degrees and "work along side" the company to achieve a common goal. Concessions are given, work hrs are adjusted, Job sharing, they do whatever it takes to keep working and staying viable in a global economy. None Union companies pay decent wages and benefits while profitable.
8/11/2014 10:26:54 AM
fools annoy me says:
Everything you touch, use in your daily life etc. was either made/handled by/serviced or delivered by a union member. At the very least delivered by a trucker, railway or airline. Every service you enjoy has a union background, especially if you deal with government agencies. Any time you need something repaired,chances are you're using union services. Any time you go home, to school, the Arts Complex, Canada Games Comples, Regional Hospital, Airport,etc. you're using a union built service. Anyone non-union (students, business owners, farmers, sales people, fast food servers)is dependent on the purchasing power of union members, otherwise you'd be out of work on EI. Next time your plumbing stops working, don't call that plumber, chances are he's a union member too. Every horse needs a head to UNITE or organise things and the other end to do what it does best if you know what I mean. Nuff said.
8/10/2014 12:44:47 PM
TBeau00 says:
If we pulled all the fabrication and exaggeration out of these so called news articles and exposed the truth maybe the ignorance would disappear. I'm all for Unions, fight for what you believe in, cave now and they will only take more next time around. Maybe big corporations should think more about who it is that makes there profits rather then trying to screw over the loyal workers to make there greedy little pockets bigger.
8/9/2014 2:17:03 PM
orca says:
With what is going on now, Toyota workers in Southern Ontario would be DYING to have a union. Maybe even Magna workers. They'd let go of their profit sharing benefits for Unifor brotherhood.
8/9/2014 9:14:54 AM
Unions_Are says:
This is a Quote...
"Japanese manufacturers matched wages, benefits and working conditions enjoyed by unionized workers at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Toyota also long touted a “no layoffs” policy toward permanent, full-time workers. Unions themselves frequently conceded Toyota was a good employer."
If this were to happen at Bombardier, would you believe they would be striking?
8/9/2014 11:29:12 AM
RelaxinginMurillo says:
Is the main sticking point all about protecting the future workers ? As a 25yr+ union member, I agree with the notion. Sure, it wouldnt be for many workers at first, but eventually the majority would be working under the lesser contract terms and at some point a vote would turn the whole contract for all.
How long this would take would depend on the average age of the current workers.. but lets say 15 yrs.
In 15yrs, the company could also have a next generation (or next next etc) rail car platform plant built in another country , if they have determined that future costs of labour are critical.
Of course they might do that regardless, or they might just force a walk-off at each contract time until they get it.
Hate to say it, but maybe its best to try and work out a signing bonus. Save some energy for future battles, and get back to producing the quality product that you guys are known for.
Whatever happens though, good luck. I'll keep honking when I drive by !
8/9/2014 8:34:18 AM
portland39 says:
yes virtualrealityczech, unions due ruin everything by crippling business.

Ideas of a union (40 hour work weeks and paid breaks etc. etc.) were great in the 60's - 80's. However, times change, globalization happens and to remain competitive everyone needs to give a little.... Hard explaining to the typical blue collared worker but the "American Dream" isn't handed out on a silver platter.
8/8/2014 11:42:25 PM
Handlewithcare says:
Glass half Entitlement problem perhaps? Pretty sure nobody makes min wage there and why would an employer care about your lifestyle. Time for the ole time cronies to get out of the fifties. Id be more worried about my lifestyle being on Kijiji soon.
8/8/2014 9:41:10 PM
watchful says:
Union members, you get what you ask for,,,, no jobs
8/8/2014 9:09:26 PM
tbayhabs33 says:
Haha you gotta be kidding me with those all make yiur comments on am annonymous account but dont see all the "screw the union workers" comments on the facebook page..and im also guessing you wouldnt have the nerve to say these things to the face of a union worker and their family making a quarter of their regular wage..and WILL.NOT relocate, the people saying that are clearly uneducated
8/8/2014 8:22:57 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
And you have to be kidding me that you actually think Bombardier won't relocate! Why would a company keep an operation that is LOSING money?? People who think that Bombardier cares about Thunder Bay need to get their heads out of the sand.
8/9/2014 9:45:25 AM
Cletus Van Damme says:
Could just ramp up the facilities at Concarril, they make a top notch rolling stock.

And use the empty TBay facility for an event centre. $$$ saved all around... win! win!
8/8/2014 8:08:16 PM
dynamiter says:
Love it . Just remember boys, you got convinced by Dominic and his bosses to strike for future employees, not for yourself. Those lost wages are gone and the company appears serious about transitioning away from Defined benefit plans as have most other big companies. So eat your humble pie and kick Dom out and get a deal done maybe with a signing bonus to make the bitter pill go down.
8/8/2014 6:40:53 PM
Shane Caker says:
And others have gone on strike for themselves and future members. This is how unions work. That's how they got to where they are today. I can't wait until the union wins (and they will) to see all you anti union guys and the end is near crowd disappear from the comments.
8/8/2014 11:00:19 PM
dynamiter says:
Missed my point totally. Nobody wins in a strike that's a fact but sometimes you have to do it. But this one is idiotic because it is going to happen (defined contribution plans) or the company will either go broke eventually or move to Mexico. And the proposal was to transition into the New DC plan not no plan. And there is a lot of information out there showing that these plans are better for unionized employees (ie those who don't have a big salary bump over the last 5 years).
8/9/2014 11:28:24 AM
fastball says:
The workers have the contract that they have because of the efforts and sacrifices of the workers that came before them.
Now you advocate that these current workers should throw future workers under the bus?
Would you be proud of that legacy?
Could you look those new workers in the eye?
8/11/2014 8:59:44 AM
Tbayworker says:
This goes to people that have no clue about the situation. It goes out to "unions_were" the most. If you do not know what you are talking about , shut up. I am one of the Thunder Bay workers that has travelled for the Company. The Bombardier Employees that work at the Wilson yard where the Rocket cars are have never been and are not in a union. There are also workers that are hired through a labour pool. The only Union people at Wilson Yard are the TTC people. This is the same at all locations in the GTA where Bombardier has rail cars. Aerospace at the Downsview plant is union.
8/8/2014 4:51:22 PM
Millworker says:
I always hear " nobody wins when they strike" . WRONG sure you will loose money and will never make it back, but stat holiday's, better wages, benifits, safety improvements, pregnancy leave, pension, workers rights, the GREEN BOOK ( occupational health safety act) was a win. And if we didnt have large numbers of people willing to take monetary hits to make those changes on what they believe in then that was for nothing. If you don't think unions have a place here anymore, then I guess lower wages and lower standards of safety will be the new trend. Maybe you can ask workers in a place like Swaziland what they think of our right to be a part of a union and to strike for betterment.
8/8/2014 4:12:22 PM
hounddog says:
How can the union make any headway if the employer does not wish to go back to the table. In all fairness everyone can comment as much as they like but unless you are on the picket line striking or sitting in managements chair you have no idea what the real deal is. I hope that this ends soon with a mutually agreeable solution for both parties.
8/8/2014 4:12:07 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
I think we all want this settled, but it's all up to one guy Aaron Rivers.
8/8/2014 4:11:54 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Of course we all want this settled but it's up to more than one person. The last time I checked there were 4 members of each bargaining committee and every single one of them needs to be willing to BARGAIN in order for an agreement to be reached. I really wish people would stop blaming Aaron for this, the last time I checked there was someone higher up in BBD making the decisions. At the end of the day it is BBD telling the company reps what to bargain for.
8/9/2014 9:40:37 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
No he is the one calling the shots. We will see after he's gone and replaced (sometime in August) how long the strike will continue afterwards.
8/9/2014 11:45:26 AM
allaboutthetruth says:
Oh, I didn't realize Pierre Beaudoin was replaced as CEO by Aaron Rivers. Thanks for letting us know that. He may be posturing as badly as the leaders of Unifor but he sure as hell isn't running Bombardier. He was brought in to make changes at the Thunder Bay plant because his predecessors were unsuccessful in changing anything. Just because he is hard-nosed doesn't mean he isn't just a puppet for the company. Gone and replaced in August? So you must work in HR and know exactly who will be hired & fired.
8/9/2014 11:14:23 PM
boofer69 says:
Live with your decision union.
8/8/2014 3:37:15 PM
Millworker says:
Please please eventscentre learn more of the facts before you comment.
8/8/2014 3:36:28 PM
yoyoma says:
It's going to be so sad when this company packs up shop and goes elsewhere but you can't blame them if they do as they can find the workers they need just about anywhere else in the country and tbay workers will be left holding their picket signs in one hand and their egos in the other.
8/8/2014 3:25:16 PM
humnchuck says:
Bombardier had profits of something like $270m US in the first half of 2014. I wouldn't worry too much about their ability to stay in business. Pretty sure those workers had something to do with that...

If Bombardier are unwilling to at least negotiate, then I do blame them should they pack up and move to Mexico.
8/10/2014 12:20:20 PM
eventscentre says:
Please please settle this...guys, you are losing more money than you will ever make back with an increase in pay....don't listen to your union leader unless he voluntarily refuses his paycheque and accepts strike pay like all of you. Wake up, please!!!
8/8/2014 3:03:12 PM
portland39 says:
Unions ruin everything. Yes picket all you want, you can also picket the unemployment office when they pack up and leave.

Ontario is the Michigan of the north which makes Thunder Bay Flint (north of the big city).
8/8/2014 2:49:15 PM
virtualrealityczech says:
Unions RUIN everything?
- 40 hour work week
- equal pay for men and women
- paid vacation
- paid breaks
- pensions
- universal health care
- maternity leave
- overtime pay

...the list goes on and on... and it's all the FAULT of unions.

8/8/2014 5:24:46 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Unfortunately unions have lost their focus from what you list to what they are now, greedy mini-corporations who only care about collecting union dues. Where will Unifor be when the plant closes? Which is a real possibility, I wish people would see that!
8/9/2014 9:35:41 AM
freedom54 says:
It's too bad the union higher-ups don't have their pay packet reduced to strike pay when the members are out on strike.
Strikes would probably get settled a lot quicker if they did.
8/9/2014 6:41:35 PM
unions_were? says:
TBayworker you should know that bombardier in toronto also has union just (fyi)
this the beginning regardless bombardier is a private company is in bussiness to make money the plant at thunder bay has being loosing it in a big proportion and not matter who you want to blame is everyone fault form the union workers to the managers it is hard to admit but this plant needs a shake up as most of the worker have lost their work ethics and now they can't comprehend that change is on the way we are going to loose this plant and lots of us would be unemployed :(
8/8/2014 2:18:10 PM
Unions_Are says:
Doctors...Canadian Medical Association
Police Officers
Industrial Workers
Construction Workers, etc.
8/9/2014 10:41:52 AM
freedom54 says:
Nice attitude.
Does that make all the private sector non-union people butt-kissers?
I spent 16 years working in a unionized job and from what I saw the union protected the least productive workers. I got so fed up with the nonsense that I quit that job, returned to the private sector and I feel I'm much better off.
8/9/2014 6:32:15 PM
Eastender says:
Unions arn't perfect, but if not for unions you tnink the private sector would be enjoying all the benefits that they do. I hardly think so! Its because of the unions that the private sector enjoys the benefits that were so hard fought for by the unionized workers. Without unions you would be living in a tin shack, peeing in a bucket, and throwing it out your front door. Unions were the front line in the war for better working conditions, and fair treatment and wages. There are abusers of every system, both unionized and private. Union workers are some of tne most productive workers in industry, without whom not much would get done by tne parasitic corporate hacks.
8/10/2014 12:43:28 AM
fastball says:
Typical posturing from the company side.
First they threaten to use replacement workers...then they'll announce that they'll do a "feasibility study" to see if the Thunder Bay plant is still "viable in today's market".
Subtle as a sledgehammer.
8/8/2014 1:23:46 PM
TBayworker says:
Yes Thunder Bay employees have travelled to other sites to assist and train Bombardier people. AT NO TIME HAS A WORKER FROM THUNDER BAY CROSSED A PICKET LINE! Unfortunately the Bombardier workers in Toronto are not members of a Union. They are probably being told, go cross the line of find another job!
8/8/2014 1:04:50 PM
educator says:
I think it's time the other local unions stepped in and showed some support for Unifor and the striking Bombardier workers.

They might not be able to hold people up, but we sure as hell can.
8/8/2014 1:03:02 PM
Bob Roberts says:
Im available for work right now. If the Plant management needs help with production I can come in a work 12 shifts until they settle the strike sometime next year. I have enough free time it would be nice to help out and Im sure thare are lots of others looking for some addtional income. Im even ok sleeping on a Cot inside the plant.
8/8/2014 12:56:33 PM
glass half full says:
Mr Roberts?

Go work your shifts, They will pay you minimum wage with no benefits. Do you think Bombardier pays the workers the wage they currently get paid because Bombardier cares about the workforce and the lifestyle they have. Any company would love to boost their profits by paying workers the least amount possible.

SCABS try to take work from workers who stand up for what they deserve.

If you truly are available to work I will pay you minimum wage with no benefits. you can start tomorrow. I have a field I would like cleared raked and landscaped all by hand.

Looking forward to working with you. Put your labor where your mouth is.

8/8/2014 1:34:57 PM
Brutus02 says:
Is that what the current offer minimum wage with no benefits?

8/8/2014 4:10:55 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
"Stand up for what they deserve" Now we both know you got paid a good wage. We have already heard about the guy who just bought a Harley. Union workers take NO RISK in running a business but they all think they deserve to reap all the benefits. What happens when times are tough. Does the union take a pay cut? NEVER. What capital did they put into the business to make it run? None. But because the company is doing well, YOU figure YOU deserve more. YOU don't own the company, YOU WORK for the company. If YOU don't like the pay, or conditions, your boss, etc., leave. But don't start this bologna you are getting minimum wage. That is just not true! Enjoy the weather out there!
8/10/2014 9:03:28 AM
blackbird says:
What a ridiculous fourth world type of thinking you have. Do you want this country to move backwards into the dark ages of Slavery. "Do it or else" Thank god for people who don't have that kind of loath and disrespect for the hard working people who are UNIONIZED.
8/10/2014 12:27:05 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
"available for work right now" so you were the one who kept forgetting the fries with the orders.
8/8/2014 6:00:11 PM
rob20 says:
Yah they're bad people for wanting to retain a fair wage & decent benefits for solid work. Stupid comments like Bob Roberts are an example of jaded workers rejoicing in others getting screwed by their employers. If you had any intelligent thought you'd support the workers because every time the workers get shafted like this it just makes it easier for the next corporation to act in bad faith and shaft workers for a better executive bonus based on 'cooked' revenue/expense figures... and the more frequently it occurs the harder it is for workers to protect themselves.
8/10/2014 9:17:09 AM
mercy mercy me says:
this just keeps getting better, for at least this week we have two circus events in town and the clowns to prove it
8/8/2014 12:47:06 PM
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