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2014-08-12 at 14:25

Tensions rise on picket line as Bombardier moves TTC cars off site

Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
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By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY – A Bombardier spokeswoman is calling the conduct of striking Unifor Local 1075 members during the movement of light rail cars “disgusting.”

The company moved two finished cars out of the plant shortly after 9:30 a.m. and were followed down Montreal Street by a crowd of plant workers who have been on strike for the past four weeks.

This was the first time since the strike began on July 14 that Bombardier has moved cars out of the plant and a third car was scheduled to be moved out later that same afternoon.

Bombardier spokeswoman Stephanie Ash said there was profanity and abusive language directed not only at the personnel moving the cars, which are being delivered to the Toronto Transit Commission, but at members of the city police force escorting the trucks out of the plant.

“There was no control by the picket captains and a complete lack of leadership,” Ash said. “It resulted in Unifor members breaking the strike protocol on numerous occasions so there were real problems (Tuesday) morning that should have been addressed instead of them being in Toronto.”

Warning: Video may contain graphic language.

Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino, along with other senior union leaders, were away from the picket lines Tuesday to take part in other planned demonstrations this week at public transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area.

Pasqualino was at the line prior to the cars departing and said there were no issues first thing in the morning.

However, it’s alleged that changed once the wheels started moving.

Seeing the fruits of their labour being hauled out of the plant amid a strike that seemingly has no end in sight appeared to infuriate several of the demonstrators.

The conduct of Unifor members also created a myriad of safety concerns, Ash said.

Emotions were running high as workers marched alongside, and sometimes in front of, the flatbed trucks hauling the cars. Some of the workers accused the police service of being paid off by Bombardier.

“This is a sad day for our city,” shouted one worker after the trucks pulled away down Neebing Avenue.

“Everyone working for the last month gets paid, except for us,” another yelled referring to the employees, not represented by Unifor and not currently on strike, still working within the plant.  

But the company wasn’t the only one upset with conduct. Pasqualino said he’s not pleased with the conduct of the company’s security staff, saying they impeded him from leaving the site to drive to the airport.

He added that police officers at the scene had to request multiple times that the security allow Pasqualino to get out.

The events of Tuesday morning could lead to both sides returning to court.

Ash said the company is planning to file another injunction this week against the picket line behaviour of union members.

“I think at this point we have no choice,” she said.

Pasqualino accused the company of trying to take advantage of his absence, especially with trying to return to court this week.

“I think it’s very strategic,” he said, adding the company had other opportunities to move the cars prior to Tuesday morning.

Ash said the company began last week to make arrangements to move the completed cars out of the plant to be shipped to Toronto.

The company tried to move them on Friday out the plant’s side entrance on Neebing Avenue, but were unable to do so due to objections from union leadership, citing the protocol that states cars must be moved out the main gate.

She said the piece of the protocol requiring a 72 hour notice period to the union only applies to cars that are shipped by rail.

The Rocket cars are always shipped by road, Ash said.

The picket line captain who was on duty during the move declined interview requests.

 

 

Tbnewswatch.com(95)

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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
RicknB says:
Time for all unions to step in and support Unifor!
8/12/2014 2:30:34 PM
Tbayworker says:
It is very disturbing that Ms. Ash uses the word " we ",like she is an employee of Bombardier. Ms. Ash has never been an employee. She is a hired Public Relations person that is only feeding half truths at best to the media. The company is spending a lot of money to have her spread one side of the happenings at the plant. She has been on retainer for well over 2 years with her main responsibility of producing a monthly newsletter. Bombardier has never been so top heavy in the management sector. When Mr. Rivers gave his first speech to the workers, he stated "You people on the floor generate the money and profits that come into this plant, I and every other person that does not work on the floor is an expense." He went on to say that his mandate was to cut costs. Next thing there are more managers, supervisors, and directors. He hasn't moved his family here and has been looking for his successor since last fall! Why hasn't Ms. Ash made these statements to the media?
8/12/2014 2:43:41 PM
anvil of crom says:
so what ? so what that Ms. Ash uses words like "we", so what that she is bombardiers mouthpiece.
Paqualinos your mouthpiece, is that wrong??
Its irrelevant! its not part of the issue.
The issue is there needs to be talks ...
so what is really going on here tbayworker?
8/12/2014 6:12:13 PM
mikethunderbay says:
I find it disturbing that you can say "Ms. Ash has never been an employee" and then in the next sentence say "She is a hired public relations person...." If she is a hired PR person for bombardier and has been for the last two years I would say therefor she is an employee. The fact that you can't see that is quite sad.
8/12/2014 11:44:15 PM
sg says:
Her company is the hired PR firm. She is NOT a bombardier employee.
8/13/2014 10:52:08 AM
Tannoy says:
You do realize that Ms. Ash is just doing her job right? The job that company has hired her to do.
8/13/2014 11:20:48 AM
baybrewer says:
When ever this strike is resolved, how does management, the Unifor workers and the non-unionized workers actually get back to work? Even when a deal is reached, how do you mend the working relationship and trust?
8/12/2014 2:45:01 PM
anarnosti says:
Are you kidding me??? The Bombardier spokesperson has the audacity to say that she thinks the Union staff should not be in Toronto when there are things here to deal with? Wow!!! Talk about a double standard. Where was their "leader" for the first weeks of this strike when there there were "things to deal with"?
8/12/2014 2:46:26 PM
David28 says:
This is the way I see it from daily happenings at the line, the employees want to be taken seriously, YET I have observed numerous "activities" that prove they dont deserve sympathy. As a picketer, I have noticed others coming on the line who are already intoxicated, or who end up that way by the completion of their shift. I have seen workers being downright rude to motorists who have absolutely nothing to do with this from yelling, name calling, obscene gestures and physically touching their vehicles. There are workers here like myself who have been forced to do this while others are making a mockery out of this whole process. I dont blame the average person for not feeling sympathy towards us.
8/12/2014 2:49:47 PM
smartguy83 says:
Therein lies the average persons issue with unions.

Great for those who are not good employees. Bad for those who are serious...Sad world we live in.

People are not "against unions" but they are against the way people take advantage of them.
8/12/2014 3:41:49 PM
moi says:
Funny you should mention this aspect of the strike David...I attended the drag races down in terrace bay back on the long weekend,and imo the strikers can't be taking this strike action too seriously.Conversation I heard between 3 of the spectators-- "hey,aren't you suppose to be on strike duty?", to which was replied..."nah,how 'bout you?" "Yah,I'm on strike duty right now"...to which was followed by a few hearty laffs by all three spectators.
Yeah..sorry,but no sympathy for these guys.I hadn't realized the strike line extended @ 2 hours down hwy.17. Pitiful...
8/12/2014 5:31:49 PM
TBTNFL says:
The interesting thing is people are allowed to work extra hours on the line or a longer shift in order to have time off for vacation or life events. Perhaps you should insert your foot in your mouth and find out the facts before you comment.
8/14/2014 12:20:22 AM
sg says:
I certainly hope you've said something about it if that is indeed happening.
8/13/2014 10:53:35 AM
TBTNFL says:
David the same can be said about passing motorists and Bombardiers management team. The only mockery being made here is how you paint your fellow brothers and sisters as the enemy. Bombardier makes record profits every year and everyone feels sorry for the poor big rich corporation while they want to take away your benefits and pension. The mockery here is you selling out your co-workers who are suffering just the same as you.
8/14/2014 12:41:01 AM
Kidknapp says:
Sounds like some people on the picket line need to grow up! Your union made these agreements and YOU decided to strike! You made your bed and now you have to lie in it!
8/12/2014 2:51:51 PM
David28 says:
Didn't you read my post fella, Alot didn't want this and now we have got to endure this because of the majority who were easily manipulated by our union leads. Grow up and act like an adult
8/12/2014 4:45:59 PM
fastball says:
"a lot didn't want this"???? Excuse me??
According to this very news site, the workers took a strike vote on May 8/14.
The result was 100 percent of the skilled workers, and 99.4 percent of the general workers who cast ballots voted in favor to support a mandate to go on strike if negotiations failed.

www.tbnewswatch.com/news/338581/Strike-vote
8/12/2014 6:06:38 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
One thing that article didn't mention was that only about 1/3 of the membership even showed up for the vote. Nice representation.
8/12/2014 10:25:40 PM
fastball says:
Well, if you didn't care enough to cast your vote and voice your own opinion at the time - don't come back and start whining that "lots of you didn't want this".
Everybody has a vote - and democracy prevails in these votes. If lots of you "didn't want this" - why didn't you vote against it?
Oops...sorry. That would mean getting off the coach, right?
8/13/2014 7:38:00 AM
iceman says:
I can't believe the union let anything out of that plant. I would not have
8/12/2014 3:16:36 PM
smartguy83 says:
Why not? They are legally allowed to?
8/12/2014 3:42:22 PM
Bob Roberts says:
Sad to see, but production must go on even if there is a strike due to contracts. Its looking like Kingston may benefit in the near future with new employment opportunities and its close to major transportation hubs 401 and Rail. Unifor sure not doing much for the current workers by having a Strike. Its Fun in the Sun with strike Pay. At some point its concession time or the Plant is going to re-locate due to business economics. Time for the union due paying members to wake up and ask yourself if you are getting good representation from UNIFOR, sure doesn't look like it from the other side of the street. There is no such thing as job security and guaranteed benefits down the road regardless of Union, ask PSAC members and CEP. It happens in the private sector and in the public sector. Going to happen every where.
8/12/2014 3:19:28 PM
bttnk says:
Time to start acting like adults Unifor.
8/12/2014 3:29:26 PM
outlander says:
Union President should step down and allow someone with a brain to resolve this situation before Bombardier shuts down the Thunder Bay plant. The striking workers also seem to forget that if this ever gets resolved, they will need to once again work for this company. Do you really thinks management will forget what has happened?
8/12/2014 3:41:38 PM
tbayfinn says:
Time to agree to concessions on pensions for new hires in this day and age people. You are living in the past. Force the company to leave Thunder Bay if you must to make your point and see where that leaves you. The antics of some picketers doesn't surprise me, a few live for confrontation in order to make the news. A negotiation is a give an take on both sides, if one side does not want to give at all then the strike will not end. Bombardier obviously has other options, do you?
8/12/2014 3:47:28 PM
Tachyion says:
The union goon mentality would make Jimmy Hoffa proud. At least one commenter on this site recognizes the lack of intelligence coming from some picket line people. Respect and trust are values that must be earned.....obviously not present on this picket line.
8/12/2014 3:49:12 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
It is going to be a sadder day for this city when Bombardier packs up and moves closer to its customer. That will be 1300 people out of work, not just the 900 Unifor members who behaved very poorly today. Shame on all of you who used such poor language and directed it at people who had NOTHING to do with you being out on the line. You and your union put you there, you voted in favor of this.

Those office workers are there because they have to be. Not everyone in the building is management, alot of them are COPE members and most of the rest are unclassified staff, not management. If they don't go to work they don't get paid. Oh wait, you aren't either but you CHOSE that. If your COPE co-workers go on strike would you tolerate such behaviour from them, I think not.
8/12/2014 3:50:25 PM
Shane Caker says:
So They're moving closer to Turkey? Last time I did work for them, that's where the contract was.
8/12/2014 8:40:18 PM
conker2014 says:
I am wondering why Thunder Bay Police have not been enforcing the "No Parking" along the south side of Montreal Street? Isn't it their sworn duty to uphold the law? Why are they not ticketing these cars? Why are they not removing the trespassers who are camping out on the Resolute property on the south side of the Montreal street tracks? If the police had done their job they would have ticketed 50+ cars per day at $50 per ticket times 4 weeks..... That is over $50,000 in fines that have been missed over police officers not enforcing the law.

Union is a code word for organized crime at many places in this city, and now it looks like it includes the police services union.
8/12/2014 3:57:19 PM
mystified says:
The media are just spin doctors and will make bad out of nothing just to get people to read and react. If you were not there don't be spouting your opinions. Those who think Bombardier will pack up and move operations leaving the Tbay workers out of work need to see a shrink. Without unions everyone would be working for minimum wage.
8/12/2014 4:14:41 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
The media is great at spinning things, especially the Thunder Bay media, & usually very biased to one side. There are two sides to every story folks, remember that. As for the rest of your comment, please educate yourself. Bombardier is a multi-national operation with no ties to this city or its workers. It owes the city nothing but property taxes & the workers a cheque, if they work. For you to think they won't move then you are the one who needs to seek help to find reality. The company is here to make money.

Yes, without unions we would be further behind and I don't deny that but, this dispute isn't about fair wages, safe workplace or decent benefits. All those things are already in place with some of them now legislated by the government. Every single person on that line is fighting for people who don't even work there. What happened to being grateful to have a decent job?
8/12/2014 5:44:54 PM
tbay87 says:
Between all the union and company bashing in the comments sections, I love the random suggestions of spin & bias on tbnewswatch's part in an article which makes no editorial comments and fairly quotes both sides ...
8/13/2014 1:29:40 AM
moi says:
Well now mystified...let's revisit your opinion say..in a few weeks,2 or 3 more months and see if Bombardier "will pack up and move operations.."
When it comes time for uniform to eat crow,please post which method is the best preferred by the circle walkers...stewed,boiled,braised,or fried in a little butter.
8/12/2014 5:47:41 PM
Nurseb says:
Employers pay for skill and talent. The only reason you would be stuck with minimum wage, is a lack of skill. Once upon a time there was a place for unions, that time is long gone. Unions are now a hindrance to anybody with ambition and skill, turning men into babies
8/13/2014 9:52:38 AM
Joe-King says:
@Kidknapp, you have a worker who is telling it like it is and how he is basically embarrassed by his co workers and you are still being very rude to him. Why dont you grow up and act like a man??
8/12/2014 4:48:30 PM
Outlander says:
@mystified if you honestly think bombardier has to stay in Thunder Bay, you are delusional and should see a shrink
8/12/2014 5:15:42 PM
lvm123 says:
Its truly amazing how fast the media can twist a situation to suit a corporate entity. Even Goebbels could have learned some fresh tricks from the reports of today’s events on the picket line.
I had a front row seat and I can honestly say, outside of some bad driving on the truck drivers' part and security disturbing traffic, everything was very peaceful. A few people were shouting at the drivers but I did not hear any profanity or racial slurs just understandably upset workers voicing their discontent. The video used for this story was after the cars finally manoeuvred their way through an area that is not usually used for that purpose and were on their way – those people in the video were acting on their own with the vast majority of us just watching with disgust as the sweats of our labour was employed to create a media frenzy. I hope the judge sees through the company's obvious manoeuvring and insists the union and company just find a middle a ground and get us back to work. I for one am a little more than worried about my job.
8/12/2014 5:56:53 PM
westfortterri says:
Why does the Union Executive think Toronto will listen to them! Just think what a coup it would be for Toronto to gain a big MFG plant for their city. Rob Ford might even stand a chance of getting re-elected. This small town thinking will cost all of us dearly. In a few weeks the rest of the workers will probably be laid off. What's to keep Bombardier here? There has always been a serious problem with poor absentism, theft, bad attitudes, willful damage, bullying etc from a small percentage of the employees. Why would the company want to stay?
8/12/2014 7:22:04 PM
progress now says:
Of note:

"Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino, along with other senior union leaders, were away from the picket lines Tuesday to take part in other planned demonstrations this week at public transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area."...

I take it this is on the union member's dime.

I would think you wouldn't be able to wrench union officers away from their membership right now - in the middle of what might be a milestone labour action.

I am not partisan here. I just want the folks who work hard and play by the rules and pay their (union) dues to get value out of them.

If members are ok with this then so am I.

I hear Toronto is nice this time of year.




8/12/2014 7:46:54 PM
albertallan says:
Fastball:
Are you seriously quoting statistics hand fed to this very news site?
The whole story is that less than 50% of membership voted!
More than half the members have no faith in this Union and abstained from voting.
I don't get how you accuse and deride union members while your own wide swath of unfounded criticism and judgement is the SAME behavior
8/12/2014 8:10:43 PM
fastball says:
Yes, I'm seriously quoting statistics reported by the media. I'm not quite sure what "hand-fed" means - but if it means the media called and asked for the results, and they were given the results..yeah, I guess that means "hand-fed".
Half the members abstained from voting? Why? If they were TRULY disillusioned with the union, they could have all voted NOT to go on strike. If the majority of votes cast had been NOT to go on strike - then they would have never gone off the job.
They chose NOT to vote and participate in the most fundamental part of democracy. They chose to let others do their thinking for them.
And now they whine and cry about it? I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who chose to do sit on their hands and do nothing - when they had to chance to guide their own futures.
I did not deride or accuse any union member. I am a past union president and still a member of my union.
You don't participate in the process, you lose the right to comment on the result.
Bottom line.
8/13/2014 9:24:10 AM
albertallan says:
Allaboutthetruth:
Do you read your comments before posting?
Since when does Gov't legislate fair wages??
The job is "decent" as it was and I'm more grateful for it than you probably are for most of what you have.
The issue... Aaron Rivers made it absolutely clear during plant meetings that he thinks we make too much money. He also let us know that his intent is to lower the cost per employee on the company. Bombardier/Aaron Rivers have demanded only concessions.. us giving up many of the things that make this a "decent job". Once it's no longer "decent" who wants it? I'm damn sure you don't.
I'm willing to bet the vast majority of commenters here are not working Gov't legislated minimum wage jobs, most are making as much or more than us or have never put forth effort to keep what is yours.
allaboutthetruth seems to be a misnomer.
8/12/2014 8:31:22 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Do you read mine before you comment. If you did you would know that I am refering to the health & safety, vacation, WSIB etc and YES wages. Last time I checked it was govt legislation that outlined what a minimum wage rate should be. But none of this would be in place without unions, I have never denied that.

You don't want what you call a decent job I can guarantee there are plenty of people in this city who would line up to take it. And what concessions? A DC pension plan for new hires and a signing bonus for post retirement benefits that are most likely not even being used by retirees who have spouses still working. Give your head a shake and get back to the bargaining table before you are one of the ones seeking those minimum wage jobs.
8/13/2014 8:57:06 AM
Smartguy83 says:
@ivm123...no it doesn't matter if it is the minority or the majority. It happened and it was a mistake. Therefore, this story is accurate and shows you who you are fighting for. Get back to work please I am in Toronto almost monthly for work and need those cars.
8/12/2014 9:57:50 PM
Dohboycc says:
"Everyone working for the past month got paid, except for us"
Well umm, you haven't worked. You don't deserve to get paid. Go to work, and you'll get paid!!!
Was so proud when Toronto and the TTC actually pushed for Thunder Bay to receive the contract. Now so embarresed how the customer (TTC) is being treated.
8/12/2014 10:03:37 PM
YellowSnow13 says:
I hope the people going to Toronto think about the outcome of their visit. The best they could ask for is Toronto doesn't care. Because if they care they may just cancel the order. Then who is laughing. And if Toronto complains about he strike, management just has to say, we are keeping up with the orders. What's the problem? In any case the union doesn't get anywhere. It is a desperate move and that's why you are picketing today instead of paying your mortgage.
8/12/2014 10:11:25 PM
Royalflush says:
You dont make any sense at all!
8/14/2014 1:48:52 AM
watchful says:
Spoiled little brats, this will bite you in the butt. You work for the company not vice versa and you are all expendable.
8/12/2014 11:04:13 PM
Tachyion says:
Add ENTITTLED to the "little brats"......just like many politicians. Bombardier's rail contracts come from the public purse....taxpayer's dollars....and I want value for my money.....not products produced by overpaid and underworked "workers". Good money...excellent benefits....a future if you don't screw it up. Is Pasqualino even a local, or is he from Toronto/Montreal union Thug-land?
8/13/2014 12:01:12 AM
humnchuck says:
What do you drive, Tachyion? Chances are pretty good that your vehicle (or components)are produced by union workers.
8/13/2014 10:06:36 AM
blackbird says:
Don't why waste your breath on commenting to these "idJots", they spend most of they're time refreshing and liking their own comments.
Remember if you give in to Bombardier, they will be reaping in bonuses from what you lose.
It happened at Resolute, gave up 10% on wages and the CEO and Exec's gave themselves a 6 million dollar bonus.
8/13/2014 6:43:09 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
For all you union haters out there it's time to flip those burgers then it's off to your second job making pizzas.
8/12/2014 11:38:45 PM
smartguy83 says:
I work a non union job and do quiet well for myself :)
8/13/2014 9:23:16 AM
Eastender says:
Only because unions paved the way for decent working conditions in the last hundred years of organized labour. The conditions you enjoy in your non union job are a result of demands by unions and labour, and have over time become accepted as standards of decency in most places of employment.
The problem I see with unions is that they have failed to evolve and adapt to the econmic conditions of our time. Workers need to become involved in the productivity aspect of thecompany. In other words they need to behave like owners and share in the productivity of the company in the form of bonuses, and dividends. There needs to be a sharing of the responsibility of productivity accompanied with the sharing of the profits.
8/14/2014 8:46:01 AM
smartguy83 says:
Quite................
8/13/2014 9:23:44 AM
mercy mercy me says:
time?....time for a judge to issue a publication ban, maybe it will leave both parties with what little dignity they have left
8/13/2014 3:17:28 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
My above comment was irrelevant and rude just like yours. You may not be in a union or even like them, "we" are not bullies, "we" are on strike because of the company, and as it trickles down into Thunder Bays economy you are placing the blame on the workers, which is wrong. Do some reading and enlighten yourself, you may find the truth.
8/13/2014 6:55:17 AM
westfortterri says:
Let's be clear. In the company's last offer on the table, there were 2 remaining concessions. One is the change from defined benefit pension plan to defined contribution plan for new hires going forward. (Does not apply to any present employees nor does it mean "no pension". The second one is removal of "after retirement benefits" for people who have less than 5 years seniority. These employees were offered a signing bonus for this. What are the chances that any of these people will retire from Bombardier? That's it, that's all. These people who have worked here more than 3 years make over $24 per hour and that's without prior experience or training.
8/13/2014 7:20:30 AM
bttnk says:
@ Westfortterri - EXACTLY! To be clear, moving from defined benefit to defined contribution pension plans has happened across North America for decades. For those that don't know, this doesn't mean you pension benefit will change. It simply shifts some of the risk to the employee, rather then 100% on the employer/fund.

Less then 50% of people voted for this strike, with many refusing to vote because they didn't support a strike action but didn't want to ruffle the union feathers.
8/13/2014 9:09:25 AM
tbay87 says:
If people purposely chose not to vote, they made a conscious choice to let others make the decision on their behalf. Not wanting to ruffle feathers - especially since I assume votes are confidential - is no excuse.
8/13/2014 12:45:48 PM
Shark says:
Your comment is full of lies. The concessions apply to everyone hired from 2010 and up. Pension isn't all they want to take away. They want to remove afternoon break, take the 5 min. wash up period before lunch, (lunch is 20 min.) they want to be able to change our shift at a moments notice and completely take away our benefits and cost of living increase. Educate yourself before you make yourself look like a fool.
8/13/2014 9:45:02 AM
sg says:
Right on Shane, right on.

Folks most things in life aren't as simple as they seem. If you don't support unions or you don't support companies, whatever it is. At least try to support the folks who are hoping to keep a decent living. It's not just them it affects it really affects all of us. Now and in the future.

How long will we allow the middle class to be eroded? We're so busy working, raising our families, trying to have good lives that we're not fighting or maybe even seeing what's happening. Middle class keeps the economy strong! The head of Bombardier transportation makes like 6 mil a year, do you really think he's spending all that? Spread that 6 mil across 100 middle class workers. They WILL.
8/13/2014 11:08:11 AM
smartguy83 says:
I am not sure where $6M comes from.

All I can say for sure is that the 2013 F/S show key management and board members made $33M which includes retirement benefits (for those no longer at Bombardier) of $5M, share based compensation of $13M, salaries and bonuses of $13M and "other long term benefits" of $2M. I highly doubt $6M is accurate based on these totals but I am honestly just guessing.
8/13/2014 1:25:03 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Your comment is not exactly full truths either. The only thing applying to people hired after 2010 is the post-retirement benefits.

As for the pension, no one on that line right now is affected.

Your benefits remain intact.

The only change to the COLA is rolling it into your base wage. You will still receive a COLA based on indexes so in the end the amount in your pocket is the same whether it is rolled in or not, do the math.

The current lunch break is 30 min not 20.

Your union needs to communicate & explain what the current offer is so that everyone involved can make an educated decision instead of assuming & listening to gossip.

And before you comment that I don't know what I'm talking about, I have seen the offer...
8/13/2014 11:12:45 AM
smartguy83 says:
They are not taking away your benefits. They are trying to make them more affordable/reasonable.
8/13/2014 11:21:57 AM
Tbsn says:
What a joke!! Tipical one sided news reporting in Thunder Bay. Never fails.
8/13/2014 7:33:12 AM
udecide says:
" oscarmyerweiner", so are you insulting pizza workers and fast food workers. THEY want to work and appreciate jobs. You are brutal. Go grt your unemployment form soon
8/13/2014 7:43:16 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Again you miss the whole point. My point is "you" bash the unions in ways you don't understand and when it's something worth fighting for you side with the company. Unions played their part in giving minimum wage jobs it's perks too. You like when you get paid for a stat, or time and half if you work it how about maternity leave,and countless other "perks". You say shut up and get back to work and I'll say it right back. FYI my strike pay is more than minimum wage.
8/13/2014 5:28:10 PM
TownDogs says:
It is truly amazing how people's delusional opinion of their own self-importance can blind them to the cliff they are dashing toward. Wake up! It's an employer's market these days. There are so many skilled, unemployed workers in the US alone, a company like Bombardier can pick up their plant, move it to Detroit, and leave you folks standing here all high and mighty in the unemployment line. I'm not saying it's right or that the employees of Bombardier don't have valid concerns to take to the table. What I am saying is corporations don't have to deal with these inconveniences these days. Look at Hostess if you want a recent example...3 plants closed and over 600 people out of work. Twinkies are just as easily made in Mexico as St. Louis! These are multinationals, and they'll just pack up and leave if the workers go too far.
8/13/2014 8:56:18 AM
yellowsnow says:
5 minute 'wash-up period'?? WTH is that?!?!?!
8/13/2014 12:10:29 PM
westfort resident says:
I sit here totally debt-free in my humble comfortable surroundings, semi-retired well before my 50th birthday with investments and a healthy retirement savings. Everything is paid for. Money in the bank.

All of this achieved without being in a union.

I flipped burgers, delivered pizzas, scrubbed toilets, washed floors, bussed tables, dealt with ornery customers, stocked shelves, mowed lawns, washed windows, etc.

Today, happy, healthy & proud of the commitments & sacrifices I've made surrounded by loving family and friends.

All done without belonging to a union. I am very proud of that!

Nobody should be ashamed of doing honest work and giving 100% to his/her job! Those who put down others who serve coffee, flip burgers, deliver pizza and pump gas, etc. don't appreciate the value of your efforts. They belittle others because it makes them feel important.

To those who give 100% to their job, give yourself a pat on the back. Don't get sucked into union fear mongering propaganda.
8/13/2014 12:22:31 PM
smartguy83 says:
Total honesty you should be a role model for others. So many complain about building a life of low paying jobs.

Be proud of what you accomplished it takes a certain type of person to do it.
8/13/2014 1:11:32 PM
westfort resident says:
Thank you for the very nice comment, smartguy83.

I don't have millions in the bank, but the things I've learned, the people I've met and the amazing support of family and friends make me feel rich and blessed. Started my business with a few hundred bucks and here I am more than 30 years later, happy, healthy and enjoying life.

Some of the best jobs I ever had didn't pay well, but a positive attitude and taking pride in one's work is an investment that everyone should strive for in his/her job. It has paid me back many times throughout my life.

My only concern these days is on which continent do I want to celebrate my 50th birthday!
8/13/2014 2:55:22 PM
Oliver Paipoonge Resident says:
So very happy for you, I'm Retired and have worked 41 years at One company, no need to work anywhere else because I was in a Union.
I have a Ranch on Acres of land and a Large family and was able to afford it all and I was in a Union. My Father worked and raised a family of 8. He worked for One company for 33 Years and retired. He was in a Union. You live within your means and I within mine and I'm happy for you. The only bashing and fear mongering I see is from those who are not in a union, why? Jealousy maybe, I don't know. The money we earn goes to buying those burgers and pizza's you flipped and delivered. I remembered Robin's Donuts delivering donuts and coffee to the picket line to support and thank the union workers for their Patronage. So again I'm happy for you, just stop bashing those who support you.
8/13/2014 5:01:13 PM
westfort resident says:
Good for you and your family. However, there are many people in the world like myself and my family who have never belonged to a union and do very well for ourselves.

"The money we earn goes to buying those burgers and pizza's you flipped and delivered." Thank you on behalf of a former minimum wage earner. I don't recall anyone from a union stepping up to demand fair wages when I worked in the food service industry some 25 years ago. However, we still managed to get buy, pay our bills and put some away, too.

I have nothing to be jealous of! It's a beautiful morning on the lake.
8/14/2014 7:33:21 AM
blueox says:
So proud of you, if that's what you want to do go for it. Where do you see where someone is belittled or not appreciative to non-union workers. The only people being belittled and un-appreciated are the Union Workers.
Since you want to described your experience as a non-union worker here's mine, I've worked with Asbestos, Chlorine, Sulfuric Acid, Green and white liquor, I've being gassed with chemicals you've never heard of, I've breathed in lime dust, rust, smoke, Ammonia peroxide etc. I've had 6 bones broken, multiple stitches. I've worked with 60 Ton cranes, hoists and moving equipment...and you know what I go back and do it every day while being unionized. I love what I do and am as healthy as a bull...and I will always give 110% for the company but show me and my fellow workers the respect we deserve. I've seen my fellow brothers lose fingers, limbs and also their life working for our company and really don't understand you people, show a little respect.
8/13/2014 6:01:03 PM
westfort resident says:
"The only people being belittled and un-appreciated are the Union Workers." You're kidding, right?

Man wearing a Unifor t-shirt on Sunday at Home Depot called a young worker "stupid" who was trying to help but couldn't find a particular type of fastener in the store. That worker didn't deserve to be treated like that; nobody does. And don't blame it on financial/personal pressures due to the strike. There is no reason ever to bully and intimidate; that's what we're supposed to be teaching our youth, right?

Pretty hard to be on board with someone who treats others like that and then demands respect. Classy.
8/14/2014 2:51:13 PM
blueox says:
Wow don't even go there, I can tell you of businesses telling their young employees, if you don't like it, there's always someone else so there's the door, or hiring immigrants that don't speak English because it's cheaper, ever had someone with a 800 number call you. There's idiots on both sides but that is not what Unions or Businesses are about. This is all about Bombardier and Unifor and whatever happens will affect local businesses in Thunder Bay good or bad. On another note, you have never had to strike and know the hardships the families have to endure, this strike so far has been soft words only, when the stones start flying and the storm troopers arrive that'll be a strike...I have a friend with a steel plate still in his head caused by a stone thrown from someone crossing the picket line...you only see what you want to see, not the reality.
8/15/2014 12:39:13 AM
Unions_Are says:
For years instead of these fast food businesses and many more non-union companies hiring those young workers & your kids they hired Temp. Foreign Workers and paid them 15 per cent less than the average wage ...Real Chttps://www.google.ca/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=2T4GGNI_enCA0536CA0536&q=Ontario+businesses+paying+foreign+workers+15%25+lesslassy...

8/15/2014 7:44:09 PM
westfort resident says:
There is NEVER justification for bullying and violence on or off the picket line. Respect is earned.
8/15/2014 8:10:12 PM
Royalflush says:
So how much did your wife contribute to your financial independence? And how many kids did you put through college or univetsity on your pretty much minimum wage jobs. Yes you can attain financial independence on low wages, its just that it might take you 40 or so years living like a hermit. But then not everyone is cut out for the spartan lifestyle, nor should they be.
I know for a fact that you could not have semi retired, as you say, on the wages you may have been paid for the jobs you describe, unless you won a lottery, had a wife with a good paying job, or recieved a sizable inheritance. Of course if you were never married, lived like a hermit, and had no children......but again, not many wish to live that lifestyle.
8/13/2014 7:54:30 PM
blackbird says:
So true...yet my kids did the same thing working for fast food companies and going to school at the same time. My daughter ask me what kind of jobs are out there that are secure and good paying. I tell them anywhere there's a union. My daughter is now a RN in a union and what makes me sick is she would someday have to care for the Union bashers that called her father names, why? all I wanted to do is make a good living for my family and help put them through University.
So to you Union Hating Mongols, remember when you are sick and need help that paramedic, nurse or doctor are union workers and you reap what you sow.
8/14/2014 1:41:40 AM
westfort resident says:
Resorting to name calling and variations of "hate" = so childish. Impossible to engage in meaningful discussion with those who insist on name calling and bullying. Take a deep breath and relax. Good for your daughter and her work ethic. Juggling a job and school is tough; well done.

Name calling, bullying and swearing at others who are just trying to earn a living (watch the video again and listen to the swearing and derogatory comments hurled at security guard, truck driver, police) do not further the cause or inspire respect. Respect is earned.

"Must be coffee time...Kiss my a** you *****," a striker said on the video. Classy. Impossible to respect the ignorance of those attacking others who have the right to earn a living, too, whether they are in a union or not.
8/14/2014 2:24:16 PM
westfort resident says:
We're a team, she's also semi-retired. Started our own business from scratch and living off the success of our hard work. No inheritance, no lottery bonanza. Two kids graduated with honours from university and doing very well for themselves.

You "know for a fact" that I'm not semi-retired? Methinks you are jealous. Yes, it is possible to live comfortably without being a hermit, living within one's means possessions. Not everyone belongs to a union, pal, and we get along in life just fine.
8/14/2014 7:18:39 AM
Royalflush says:
Sorry to have possibly given you the wrong impression, I didn't mean to be disparaging or to demean your accomplishments, but you did have a wife who contributed and of course you have your own business. You gave the impression that your accomplishments of a satisfactory life and financial independence were achieved by working at menial low paying jobs, which did not sound believable without the added information you have provided. Now, consider how much easier that would have been had you been making a union wage while working all those low paid hours? Had you been offerred a job at union wages while you were scrubbing toilets and washing floors, I dont think you would have refused. Now be honest.
8/14/2014 2:52:11 PM
westfort resident says:
As I said above, I worked hard & set goals, learning a strong work ethic from those "menial" wage jobs. My friend who delivered pizzas in our teen years went on to own a chain of very successful restaurants in Italy. She retired at 45! Those "menial" jobs have value. I never went for the "easy" jobs; always enjoyed a challenge & determined to succeed despite obstacles.

My point is that the world is full of happy, successful folks who earn honest wages outside of the union realm. Just because we had/have "menial" jobs doesn't mean that we were/are less worthy than a union person. We matter.

If I had been offered and taken a union job, would I be sitting here today telling my story, semi-retired? I doubt it.

I ran several small businesses while putting myself through university. I have been my own boss for more than 30 years and I have absolutely no regrets. Self-reliance has blessed me with many rewards & amazing family.

Salutations to all who march to the beat of their own drum.
8/14/2014 7:44:35 PM
Westfortterri says:
To yellow snow. Read your present collective agreement. Page 65. The 5 min washup period is already in there. Why is the union trying to claim this as a concession. Sounds like they are making false claims to keep you in the dark and on the line. You should start asking Unifor for the truth
8/13/2014 1:10:24 PM
fastball says:
Yes, the 5-minute wash-up is in the contract...and the company apparently wants to take that away. Giving that back would be called "a concession" by the union.
8/13/2014 2:24:34 PM
yellowsnow says:
@Westfortterri. Whoa 'er up there. Not a Bombardier employee, nor am I a brainwashed union supporter. I am just in awe that a union 'bargained' for a 5 minute wash-up time...
8/13/2014 3:14:32 PM
progress now says:
Thats funny.

I couldn't agree with you more.

There is plenty of precedent for it in labour contracts and personally which means in my opinion - its not the sort of issue those who put their lives on the line to get unions established were worried about.

Union leaders run for their position too, and they have to have something to show for their efforts to get re-elected. In the end, its all politics.
8/13/2014 7:10:40 PM
gurty says:
Hi Ho Hi Ho......off to Mexico they go!
8/13/2014 4:16:41 PM
westfortterri says:
Sorry Yellow snow. Yes, they have the 5 min wash up time. Problem is a lot of the people start washing up 1/2 hour early and are standing at the clocks 10 min before end of shift. Company just wants to start enforcing the 5 mins clause. Union doesn't like this
8/13/2014 6:58:09 PM
bttnk says:
@ westforterri. This is exactly correct in the way things are at that plant for so many. It is not quite 30 minutes prior to wash-up time, but it is well before and many are waiting at the clock prior to end of day. Literally the minute that clock strikes the hour, it is like a heard of elephants out of that place, with no consideration for deadlines or the like. I lost my sympathy for this group years ago after witnessing this attitude first hand. I really hope they can get back to work and support their families, but I to have seen the deal that has been prensented, the concessions that are being requested, and I believe they are realistic with the current marketplace. Take the deal guys and gals.
8/14/2014 1:28:46 PM
nvjgu says:
Wouldn't take much effort to move out of the building. Most likely abandon it. Everything in the place is old and wore out.
8/14/2014 8:27:05 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
I did not intend on insulting anyone's job, I apologize, I too have worked the fast food many years ago, very fast paced and unappreciated. You hate the union for standing up to there employer, why? You think we like being on strike? You say be happy for having a good job? But again define a good job. The pay is not great,it is the concession that make it good. Here is a little info for you to read.

" The rail division's new president, Lutz Bertling, was sitting on a pension worth more than $640,000 at the end of 2013 after just six months with the company."

And you still think the workers are bleeding the pension and we want to much?

8/15/2014 8:04:48 AM
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