Tbnewswatch Local News
Saturday July 4 2015
6:29 PM EDT
2014-08-18 at MIDNIGHT

Offer rejected

By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

A Bombardier Transportation spokeswoman says the union representing striking workers at its Thunder Bay plant has rejected the company’s latest offer to settle the five-week-old labour dispute.

In an email release sent late Sunday night, Stephanie Ash said Bombardier officials met Saturday with Unifor Local 1075 representatives, making what they called their “best and last offer.”

The deal included salary increases, cost-of-living fold-ins, a pension change for early retirement and added details of the proposed defined contribution pension plan for future employees.

“Bombardier Transportation offered Unifor Local 1075 48 hours to review and consider this best and last offer. Unfortunately Unifor Local 1075 decided once again to sharply reject the offer. After making several threats, Unifor also asked the Bombardier Transportation team not to call them again,” Ash said.

The company will now review its options.

“It seems that a new contract agreement will not be possible to achieve through a traditional negotiations process,” Ash said.

In a letter to union members provided to tbnewswatch.com, local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said the company won’t budge on retiree benefits and pensions for next-generation workers, instead offering up small monetary offers as an alternative.

The offer makes anyone hired after Dec. 31, 2010 ineligible for benefits for themselves or their families upon retirement. It would instead provide a $350 lump-sum payment at retirement, $50 more than Bombardier’s previous offer.

“This affects a lot of our members,” Pasqualino wrote.

The offer includes a defined contribution pension, with both the employer and employee paying three per cent, with no lump sum payment at retirement. The union has sought to retain the current defined benefit pension plan.

“This is a terrible DC offer,” Pasqualino said.

Pasqualino accused the Bombardier negotiators of gamesmanship, explaining why the offer was turned down. 

“I believe that the company is testing the committee and our members to see how strong it is. The offer was rejected by the committee.”

Union officials also took to social media to voice their displeasure.

“(The) offer was full of concessions and did not address a single union issue.  (The) company knew it would be rejected – just playing games,” union representatives said via Unifor Local 1075's official Twitter account early Sunday morning.

“It’s just another attempt to make the union look bad in the media by attempting to make an offer, even if the offer was terrible.”

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fools annoy me says:
What a sad bunch of union haters you are. Must be just jealousy that union members actually own cars, houses, camps, have families and sometimes take vacations. If you'd like the same things union members have enjoyed, maybe you should work harder and join a union so you'll have more than the minimum too. Every job in Thunder Bay will not just pack up and leave regardless of fear mongerers. And people PLEASE learn to spell. It's LOSE not loose. Geez, if you're going to pretend to be intellectually elite then at least spell correctly and use proper grammar. I feel sorry for all of the haters out there, get a life and try to improve Thunder Bay, not ruin your neighbour's lives.
8/19/2014 6:55:23 PM
Murphy says:
If I read or understood it incorrectly then my bad...but I thought they said it would effect anyone hired from dec 31 2010 and on...so my point is how can they accept that and have members vote against their own demise? Ppl who have been there for 4 years, how do they come up with such a cut off?? Correct me if I am wrong but is that not what the article is saying?
If it is in fact anyone hired 2014/15 and on, then maybe they should take a vote with the current members. Public sector has gone that way too. I get the supporting your union and future brother/sisters and I think they should but at what cost.
8/19/2014 11:38:47 AM
hotchoc says:
Murphy, I am not sure what specifically you are referring to, but the pension change only impact future hires, not current employees. I would bet that if the union agreed to a new pension plan for new hires, the rest of the concessions being sought would be withdrawn.
8/18/2014 7:27:33 PM
Murphy says:
Agreed...they should let the members vote.
But...it is not just "new hires" being affected. It is 2014...anyone from 2010 would be effected. Any hire in the last 4 years! I bet if mgmt would get their head out if the sand and remove the concession to new hires effective to the new contract date they would let this go to vote. The $350 for benefits is insulting especially when you have a lot of useless mgmt in that place getting way to much money for what they do. Bombardier is an upside down pyramid...top heavy wasting govt money. I think they waste more money then the actual public sector does.
8/18/2014 3:01:39 PM
Bob Roberts says:
Nice going Unifor local executives. Maybe the prolonged Strike will drain your strike fund warchest. But wait other Unifor Union members will still be contributing Union dues, too bad the workers in Tbay will be not able to contribute after their jobs are relocated to another facility. Im betting all new jobs in Kingston will be part time , temporary or contract postions and not Union jobs. The proposal should have been taken to the members for a vote period. You've given the employer a loaded "gun" moving forward. You have no bargaining position left. Little of no comfort to the striking workers walking the line with bills to pay.
8/18/2014 2:47:35 PM
SG says:
Are you walking the line Bob Roberts? You should talk to your executives and let them know how you feel. Your sarcasm is of no comfort either.
8/18/2014 5:03:40 PM
bttnk says:
To put the defined contribution plan into persepctive:

An employee making $50,000 annually for 25 years, will have approximately $250,000 in pension accumulation at retirement from which to draw against. You be the judge of whether this is a substantial amount. Truth is, it isn't enough to live out retirement, but the days of a company pension plan funding your entire retirement are long past.

Take the deal folks!
8/18/2014 1:22:37 PM
aw614 says:
That's assuming everyone makes 50,000 a year - which not everyone there does.
8/18/2014 2:26:22 PM
bttnk says:
Correct. And some make more then $50K, or much more. And that is also assuming no cost of living increases over a 25 year period. It was a rather conservative estimate in order to account for that. Truth is, for most it would be more then a quarter of a million dollars.
8/18/2014 4:37:37 PM
my 2 cents says:
The problem with the offer of the defined contribution pension is that they are offering the amount that many other businesses have on the agenda to seek an increase.
My personal experience with this is that our members have the 3% while management have negotiated up to 8% for theirs. So the lower wage earners will not be able to afford retirement and the ones that have the disposable income to invest on their own will be taken care of by the company.
Hardly seems fair. I am in no way relying on my meager pension projection and am investing what I can. At this rate, Freedom 80 may be achievable, but I'm not banking on it.
8/18/2014 12:35:35 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
And those who are non-unionized but not management get half of what this offer has. Yes half, and it is capped at 2%. Oh and they didn't get a raise nor do they get a COLA every year.

No one should be banking on anyone providing for their retirement other than themselves.
8/18/2014 6:11:58 PM
SamIAm says:
Its amazing the number of keyboard jockeys on here that have a lot to say, with tons of misinformation. How many of you actually work at Bombardier? A lot of us would have been happy to keep the same contract we had already, but the company attacked taking away from everyone, NOT just future employees. They waste so much money paying companies like Intercity Industrial Supply, ten times what something actually sells for. Part of that is Bombardier is not very good at paying their bills on time. They waste money on mistakes over and over on the build and design of the car. They even pay a company to take away scrap wood,( employees use to be able to take it home) even after the latest part time VP Aaron Rivers said it was crazy to do this , he did't put a stop to it. They pay for a company spokesman??? Can the head of HR George Gasbarino not talk for the company ?? Thats his job!! Not many of you mention these things, cause you don't work there!
8/18/2014 12:05:53 PM
aw614 says:
Because it's really hard for a company who just shipped out 6.6 million dollars in train cars last week to pay their employees (and future employees) fair when they retire, after they slaved their lives away making them rich. The government is going to be able to shell out pensions like they are now forever. And there are the wage caps. I'm sorry, but what happens when the cost of living goes up more than it already has, or minimum wage goes up?
It's easy to point fingers and say what they're getting is fair when you're not in the situation of these workers. Why are you so for corporations, and not so much for the workers?
8/18/2014 11:50:32 AM
aw614 says:
*Where it says "The government is going to be able to shell out pensions like they are now forever."
I meant for it to say "The government is not going to be able to shell out pensions like they are now forever."
8/18/2014 2:25:01 PM
unknowncronik says:
The end result will be to bowl down bombardier and make a baseball field or two in it's place.

Keep striking and this will happen!
8/18/2014 11:33:26 AM
dynamiter says:
I guess these guys dont remember when KC said that if the woods workers didnt accept changes in Longlac they would shut operations down. Which they did after a prolonged strike. The same thing with unions organizers in the Canadian auto industry in Southern Ontario and Abitibi and Bowater, telling their employees that business was good when it wasnt and hold the line. The world is changing and Unifor has it proverbial heads up their butts. Good job Dom - you will get a union position somewhere but will have screwed your membership out of big dollars and perhaps jobs - and that is not to mention the spin off businesses and their employees who are suffering. All because you are fighting for future employees benefits - STUPID.
8/18/2014 10:23:59 AM
albertallan says:
I agree with your point....
"I for one would be more than happy with the wages and benefits currently in place."
SO WOULD I... and I work there. What all of you are adamantly refusing to understand is that those are NOT currently in place. Large portions of it have been stripped away and the "offer" is to cut more. I asked for nothing..but Bombardier said that wasn't good enough.
8/18/2014 10:18:51 AM
tiredofit says:
So why not force the union to allow everyone to vote on what's currently on the table. People (on the line) need to remember, those individuals represent you, if your not happy with the outcome, you have the rights to demand a vote (check your unions constitution, it should be there).

I truly feel for you and I can bet 75% or more of the membership would accept the latest offer. Don't let a few "Diehard Union Types" ruin your lives because they are pig headed fool.

For everyday that you are online the line, you are loosing money you will NEVER get back, even if they gave you a 10/10/10 raise, it will never be recouped. How many are about to loose their cars, houses, toys etc.. stuff you've all worked hard for?

Time for Unifor to allow them a vote on what's on the table. By them not allowing it, they're not negotiating in your best interest, only their own.

Not comfortable with that? Demand a 3rd Party negotiator to settle the dispute. You all need to get back to work ASASP.
8/19/2014 9:15:15 AM
anvil of crom says:
I guess union rules are rules and the union executive can dismiss a offering outright.
However from all reports here it was a minority of the union members that voted to strike, BUT now 100% of members are off work.
Seems to me it now is time to poll the membership on nay offers.
When its comes to brinksmanship its a game on either side.
8/18/2014 10:07:45 AM
1234 says:
I think he union should have let the members decide. You are causing hardship for them and ultimately they should have the final say ! Not a select few.
8/18/2014 9:26:56 AM
CAW and now UNIFOR shut down a lot of plants in southwestern Ontario including Ford Motor Company in St. Thomas and CAT in London, Ontario.
Thousands of people were unemployed in very sort period of time.
Now it is Bombardiers turn.
So what if Bombardier chances the pension plan for the new employees???
All the new employees will know what they will get before they get hire and they will decide if they like the job or not.
What a stupid idea to strike and to have so many people out of work for 5 weeks...........................................................
8/18/2014 9:18:16 AM
allaboutthetruth says:
And considering the new employees would have full control over where that pension money is invested, whereas the ones hired before 2014 do not, how much you want to bet the new hires (if the plant ever gets any) will have MORE money in their pensions than their counterparts?
8/18/2014 2:21:24 PM
sg says:
Doesn't look so bad and the president is shameful? Maybe you should lay off the 420.....
8/18/2014 8:57:18 AM
ranma says:
There used to be a time when it was a company's duty to look after its workers. Now it seems a company's duty is to screw its workers as hard and as often as possible. This is what happens when you focus on the next quarter to make your shareholders happy. Bombardier makes billions in revenue..they can afford to treat their employees better.
8/18/2014 8:51:21 AM
Wazzman says:
Also tbag4life420 seeing you follow all this news about the strike and you seem to care about it cause of you remarks i would like to inform you why dont you ask the company why is it that when they shipped the cars last week why TTC rejected them hmm or did the media forget to mention this hmmm funny maybe you should atop believing everything tou read on the news bud
8/18/2014 8:49:43 AM
moi says:
You are wrong wazzy..
The TTC did NOT reject the cars that were shipped last week.
Perhaps you should practice what you preach.
8/20/2014 11:25:11 AM
hardrawkin says:
Maybe it's time to let the membership vote on it.
8/18/2014 8:48:58 AM
toonarmy1970 says:
are you serious that the union turned this offer down.unifor should be ashamed and when Bombardier does close up shop and leave town uniform will be at fault
8/18/2014 8:47:47 AM
TBAY Opinion says:
Last week the Union called on the Provincial Gov. to save themselves from themselves. Is the following statement by The Company asking for the same thing ?

“It seems that a new contract agreement will not be possible to achieve through a traditional negotiation process,”

Bombardier's plant in Thunder Bay would not exist without massive Ontario Government subsidies both direct and indirect. Our MLAs reminded us of that fact last week.

It is a sweet deal for both the Union and the Company. Sooner or later however Queens Park (which has a Real Deficit of about $20 Billion a year) will have to say no. The Union and Company will have to put on their grown-up pants and work out a deal.


Other companies like Siemens, (who were shut out of the bidding process), had an offer substantially less than Bombardier. Our Mayor and Council begged Toronto and the TTC for this work, and then said "thank-you" with 2 strikes in 4 years.

8/18/2014 8:42:10 AM
trevor99 says:
I am okay if the committee does not like the offer. I am not okay that the membership did not decide.

I saw the news video of Mr. Pasqualino speaking after they interviewed Minister Mauro. Mr. Pasquilino does not want Mr. Mauro to get in between both sides but feels Minister Mauro should meet with the union. He went on to say that his members supported Mr. Mauro last time, but likely wont' next election, forgetting that Mr. Paqulino himself told people to not support Mr. Mauro.

How I wish I was Mr. Mauro. I would send a clear, concise message to this union ?????? cause he is not leader and advise him that despite the efforts of Mauro/Gravelle to bring 900 new jobs to the plant, that is obviously not good enough for union folk. This union guy has done nothing to bring jobs to the plant but he sure is jeopardizing all of them. Our two ministers brought that money here and this fool wants to threaten them with votes next election. Get your people a deal. That's your first priority.
8/18/2014 8:41:07 AM
SamIAm says:
Trevor99 the only time Mauro and Gravelle show up is when its just before an election to shake hands with everyone as we are going into work. ( I have 900 witness's to this ) They also show up even when they had nothing to do with us getting contracts, they still take the credit. Every other politician has shown up and said they support us. Mauro/ Gravelle are ghosts. Guess who's not getting my vote next time. Good chance over 900 workers plus their families plus their friends won't be voting for them either.
8/18/2014 11:01:17 AM
trevor99 says:
careful Sam, you are showing your ignorance. First, didn't the other people trying to get your vote show up at the plant. Where exactly are they. As for your job, that shows you how little you know. ABout $3 Billion in provincial money to build street cars, light rail and subway gave you your job. No other contracts exist at Bombardier. It is almost all provincial money. exactly why did the contracts have to come here. Your union got you zero contracts from 1995-2003. Since the Liberals were in power, more specifically Gravelle and Mauro, you plant has exploded with work yet somehow you feel they have done nothing for you. It is that kind of mentality that keeps this town in the stone age and unions like yours 40 years behind the times. They lied to you SAM. Your pension is not at risk. Then they decided the deal was no good, for you. Is that what your dues are for. Yet you are angry at your MPP's and not your union. Maybe you should have completed GR. 6. Perhaps you would have a clue
8/18/2014 2:13:41 PM
tiredofit says:
Seems to be better than what most people get these days in the private sector. A pension is a pension, plain and simple.

Don't worry UNIFOR, keep it up long enough and you won't have squat in the end. Despite what most think, it's pretty dam easy to move a plant and production. Want to keep your job? Learn to speak Spanish and be prepared to move your family to a sunny climate in Mexico and work for Peso's.

I for one would be more than happy with the wages and benefits currently in place. Factor in how much money you've lost to date, then compare it to what you'll gain in the long run. You will NEVER earn that back and the longer your out, the worse its going to get.

Your union is paying you peanuts to be out on the line, the upper union management and members are all still collecting their nice comfy pay cheques courtesy of your dues. Who's really winning in this fight? You? The brother/sister standing on the line? No, the company is thru saved wages and those in UNIFOR.
8/18/2014 8:40:57 AM
Wazzman says:
Tbag4life420 it is people like you that drive me nuts are you a member of this union and by reading your coment i believe not so why do you put up your rant ohhh cause you can if you actually read the proposal and not what the media is saying then maybe you would not feel the way you do but honestly i dont think it would matter cause people
Like you just want to sit behind your computer and type this nonsense and think you care but you dont care and by reading what you wrote you are just another uniformed person just posting a rant. Get a life
8/18/2014 8:34:24 AM
smartguy83 says:
Please use punctuation and spell check.
8/18/2014 8:44:57 PM
bttnk says:
This is not a "terrible" defined contribution pension plan and retiree benefits for retirees and their dependents is something that rarely exists in the world today and yet these Union workers in Thunder Bay, ON believe they are entitled to them.

Guys and gals, think long and hard about what you are doing here and take the deal.
8/18/2014 8:24:22 AM
Mrbusinessman says:
Perhaps the union needs to remember that times have changed in the last few years. Big business can no longer support big pension plans like they used too. Perhaps the " committee " should let all the rank & file have a say before they dismiss the offer so quickly!
8/18/2014 8:18:46 AM
aw614 says:
"Big business can no longer support big pension plans like they used too"

Last week alone, the cars they shipped out made them over 6 million dollars. They can afford to give them a fair pension.
8/18/2014 11:45:41 AM
allaboutthetruth says:
Big business can't support the DB plans anymore. Ask Bowater what happened. Not only did the DB plan bankrupt them, guys who were already retired lost almost 25% of their pensions. How long do people expect companies to survive?
8/18/2014 6:00:09 PM
smartguy83 says:
No it did not "make" them $6,000,000. First of all they have not been paid. Second of all you are splattering false information over this page. The cars may be worth $6,000,000 but they did not make that off of them....
8/18/2014 8:43:32 PM
Handlewithcare says:
Soooo, you just proved that the company is try to negotiate with you to get this done and you flat out refuse them without discussing. Who's bargaining in bad faith. Wonder what the members have to say........
8/18/2014 8:13:04 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
For a company to ask employees to take a cut regardless if its wages or concessions while spending money foolishly around the plant is shameful, an insult. Wood pile for example was free to take now they pay a company to take it, out-sourcing parts that need to be reworked or even scrapped, to many in management that adds nothing to production, countless system implementations that really does nothing but slow the lines down, not maintaining machines and waiting for them to break down completely before repairing them increasing the cost of repairs drastically, not using raw materials to the fullest, and more. It's not a perfect company but don't take it out on the employees, we are the ones who actually make this mess come together and produce a quality car.
8/18/2014 7:34:41 AM
albertallan says:
"Doesn't look so bad"
once again we don't get ALL the facts and someone's right there to comment from ignorance.
tbag4life420 do you actually believe this story covered all the facts of the "offer" ??
Seriously !?
Just because media has focused on one point of issue does not mean it's the only point. When all the points of the "offer" are weighed it's a significant loss to the workers even outside the pension issue.
I'm glad you stayed up late to post though. Shows you stand for what u believe, even if u don't know what that is.
8/18/2014 7:15:52 AM
westfortterri says:
The Union needs to let their members vote on this. Everyone would return to work immediately with more than they had!
8/18/2014 7:13:31 AM
Newsie33 says:
The public sector has already seen these changes to new hire pensions. Private sector bargaining is following suit. When you see wage increases still being offered one has to weigh who they're fighting for. Don't let greed take over.
8/18/2014 6:49:30 AM
Meta says:
Next offer will be to come clean out your locker as the operations of this plant relocate to other global or southern Ontario facilities.

This is not a high margin business.

Sadly the union will be the death of the Thunder Bay plant.

Hope all these workers and families the best of luck.
8/18/2014 6:49:08 AM
jetpowered says:
Doesnt' seem to bad...although its the same pension that we receive at our company...except we put 6% and the company puts 3%....not great but better then alot of people!
8/18/2014 6:47:14 AM
nvjgu says:
I wouldn't except that if I worked there. 0c 10c 10c. The way thing's are going up it would be more like 1.25,1.25,1.25 of which you would see 25c after tax. I wouldn't even talk pension. This is not Mexico it's Canada where 40 plus % of a person's income goes to tax. Canadian government is the root cause of the problem.
8/18/2014 6:15:30 AM
Rob20 says:
He defined contribution plan is garbage compared to a defined benefit plan. They don't even come close to offering the same type of retirement benefits ...not even in the same ballpark. Big companies are trying to push unions and workers into defined contribution plans because they have to put next to nothing in there out of the proceeds, which basically allows them to increase the overall revenues by shorting the worker at the end of their career as far as benefits. No one with a brain in their head or any idea of financial planning would ever choose a defined contribution plan over a defined benefit plan. You're basically guaranteed yourself Nothing as far as a pension retirement.
8/18/2014 5:46:17 AM
allaboutthetruth says:
I don't know which financial planner you have been speaking to but the way of the DB plan is out the window. Companies are not in the business of managing pension plans, that is what companies like Great West and Sunlife are for. If you contribute to a plan for 20 -30 years I would bet my house that, if invested right, you would end up with alot more than a DB plan could ever give you. Anyone with a brain in their head wouldn't let a company out to screw them manage their pension anymore, I know I don't.
8/18/2014 5:55:38 PM
kurtiswm says:
What you read here from Stephanie Ash is not at all what it seems. It's so one sided it's sickening. Dominic hit the nail on the head. Of course it's the last offer and of course it's the best one. Why wouldn't they play that poker card
8/18/2014 5:21:17 AM
nvjgu says:
This offer is for everybody hired after 2010, what's the problem. No wait a min, that's almost everybody in the place. Going to be a sad day when the place shutters. Why don't they hire 2000 part timers like what rest of this country is doing. Canada is going to be in bad shape in 15 20 yr's. People with no pension's or savings.
8/18/2014 5:00:54 AM
joey joe joe jr. shabadoo says:
Some may believe it's a terrible offer, but those making minimum wage would grab this deal in a heartbeat...too bad these folks don't like what they have been offered.
Sounds like these workers will regret turning this offer down in a few months when they find out just how bad it is to find a good job in this city. Too bad for them & greed.
8/18/2014 3:58:57 AM
Sandwiches1123 says:
It is a terrible offer for those hired since December 31st 2010. However, I agree that anyone making minimum wage would jump at this deal. I think that is what Bombardier is hoping for.

Bombardier could move their production to Mexico, default on the Ontario train cars and still have oodles of money because they could pay workers less and be more competitive Internationally. You'd hope that other governments/private enterprises would think twice about awarding a contract to Bombardier if this happens but the almighty dollar can be a powerful motivator. I just hope they can reach an agreement that both sides are content with and keep the jobs here.
8/18/2014 2:36:21 PM
Bob Roberts says:
Wow the committee is so short sighted its done a major disservice to the Unifor members buy not bringing it to Vote. The offer seemed quite fair. I'm guessing relocation of manufacturing to Kingston is now a real possibility, so say good bye to Jobs in the Tbay. Bye bye Best and Final offer, the striking workers need to pay bills and get back to work, its looking like UNIFOR will now settle for nothing less then a prolonged strike.
8/18/2014 2:23:12 AM
tbag4life420 says:
Doesn't look so bad. This president is shameful! Who cares from now on new hires have a different type of pension plan deal with it!
8/18/2014 12:59:25 AM
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