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2014-08-20 at 16:21

Secret ballot

Bob Orr, assistant to Unifor national president Jerry Dias, says he
Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com
Bob Orr, assistant to Unifor national president Jerry Dias, says he's confident striking Bombardier workers will reject the company's latest offer when they vote on it some time next week.
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By Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com

Striking Bombardier workers will get a chance next week to vote on the company’s latest and final offer.

The company on Wednesday successfully appealed to the Ministry of Labour requesting a supervised vote.

However, Unifor Local 1075 officials said they are confident their membership will reject the offer, following suit with the union response this past Saturday when the deal was initially proposed.

Bob Orr, assistant to Unifor president Jerry Dias, said the latest maneuver by Bombardier is simply the company’s way of trying to circumvent the union.

But with so many concessions still on the table, including a loss of benefits at retirement, a switch to a defined contribution and a smaller-than-hoped for salary increase, Orr said it’s time for solidarity on the picket-line ranks.

He added they plan to recommend the membership reject the offer during the mandated secret-ballot vote, expected to take place on Tuesday.

He’s hopeful that will force company officials back to the bargaining table.

“There’s no doubt we’ve got the support of the membership. This committee is the voice of their members. This is a very experienced committee with a lot of years of bargaining. What will be very helpful in the vote is the amount of concessions the company has on the table and also how well they’re doing and what the CEO makes, what their profits are,” Orr said.

“What’s in the agreement itself will be our best asset to get this deal rejected.”

Workers have been on strike for more than five weeks.

Bombardier spokeswoman Stephanie Ash said the company had no choice but to turn to the Ministry of Labour after the latest contract rejection.

“Unifor was very clear in rejecting that offer. They did not come back with a counter-proposal. We said at the beginning of the week we were going to have to look at what we do next, how do we move forward,” Ash said.

“It was very clear that Unifor has no intention of negotiating with us, that this process would not come to an end through the traditional negotiations process. So we really looked at all the options and the company felt this is the only way to move forward.”

Ash said Bombardier officials truly believe this is the best way to put an end to the strike and they don’t think employees have had a chance to voice their opinion on the latest offer, the union rejecting it forthwith.

“Both the last two proposals were rejected immediately without Unifor taking the time to go back to their members and take the 48-hour period we offered for them to review and consult with their members before they came back with a decision.”

Orr said it’s merely the company’s way of trying to break the union resolve.

Striking workers are getting on average about $250 a week in strike pay, a far cry from their regular salaries.

“It’s just an argument of convenience,” he said. “We are the voice of the membership. That’s the process, but they just don’t accept that because they aren’t getting what they want.”

Asked what’s next if the union membership rejects the offer during next week’s vote, Ash said the company will have to regroup and make some tough decisions.

“That’s a really good question. If the vote comes back as a no to the last contract offer, then it will really be Bombardier’s decision to look at what’s next for Thunder Bay.”

Tbnewswatch.com(70)

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Comments

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tiredofit says:
something tells me this just might put the Union in it's place and the workers back on the line. Good for Bombardier!
8/20/2014 4:40:33 PM
TBAY Opinion says:
I guess we should know by late next week.
8/20/2014 6:44:54 PM
kurt says:
MEXICO
8/20/2014 4:55:11 PM
moi says:

Unifor local 1075 officials shouldn't be counting their chickens before they hatch...the vote may not go the way they're hoping for.Glad to hear the circle walkers will have a chance to vote on the company's "latest and final offer". At least then, no one can say the members didn't have an opportunity to exercise their right to have their voice heard. About time....take the deal union members, because there aren't that many jobs out there that pay a living wage.Bombardier WILL close this plant(if the strike goes on for a prolonged period of time),and you'll have no one to blame for the shuttering of the plant but yourselves.
8/20/2014 5:03:01 PM
ring of fire dude says:
The writing on the wall for this plant has been up for a long time now . Bombardier is looking for any excuse to shut this plant down and move it to Mexico or to some other bandanna republic where low wages and no safety standards exist . Couple that with a Ontario Govt that is flat broke and nearly into bankruptcy , who will pay for ant new contracts for light rail for Toronto ? Those contracts are all but dried up and Bombardier knows this . Settle now Union brothers or you will lose your severance due to the contract dispute .
8/20/2014 5:27:09 PM
tbag4life420 says:
Too bad it had to be forced upon them. Something the union should have done. I don't think many people are too impressed with Dominic.
8/20/2014 5:08:44 PM
MiniMe says:
By the comments around here I hope if we are forced to take this offer the rest of you "Wallmart" workers will be forced to work for 5$ hr.
8/20/2014 5:25:53 PM
tbay87 says:
I've seen quite a few comments like this (presumably from members of the union) and I don't quite get it. Is "Walmart Worker" (or in other comments I've seen "burger flipper") supposed to be an insult? And even if the people commenting are minimum wage workers who would love the deal Bombardier is offering you, can you not understand why there may be a tiny bit of jealousy and inability to sympathize with your situation?

Comments like these just make the union members sound entitled, selfish, and lacking empathy for those worse off then them. Your battle is with Bombardier and possibly right-wing economics, not the working poor ...

If this was a post from an anti-union troll trying to make the union look bad or I misinterpreted "Walmart worker" as an insult, then I apologize.
8/21/2014 12:03:22 AM
Shark says:
I am not so sure those comments were meant to be derogatory. More as should we all just be thankful for what crumbs they give us or should we fight for far pay? Those Wall-mart workers or burger flippers don't get fair pay either, especially at Wall-mart, a multi-billion dollar company that pays crap compared to what it can afford. What these posters are saying is that if we take concessions again then next time they will ask for more yet again until we all get paid the same as the "Wall-mart" worker.
8/21/2014 2:30:06 PM
Wazzman says:
I am employed at bombardier and this offer sucks and will vote no and even if they close the plant so be it i had a job before i came there and will find another if they close but what they are offering is a insult to my intelligence and to all you voicing your comment what does it matter to you you dont work there so keep your ideas and whatnot to worry about your own lives not mine i am a big boy and can make my own decision without ur one sided opinion thanks
8/20/2014 5:33:12 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
What exactly sucks in this offer? From what I have seen (yes, I work there) it could be alot worse. Does it suck that you will get a raise AND your COLA? Does it suck that new hires will get a different kind of pension but still a pension? Those hired prior to 2010 lose NOTHING & those hired after only lose post-retirement benefits. Has anyone considered the fact that about half will be laid off in 18 months with a good chance of NEVER being called back? So then please, tell me what difference the post-retirement benefit loss is? This plant will likely never see full-tilt anytime soon. And please don't hand me the corporate greed line. No one likes corporate greed but now is not the time to flex your muscles. In this city at this point in time a line in the sand needs to be drawn to save what we can and keep TB in BBD's list of viable plants, which we currently are not. You flex too hard & they will leave, don't kid yourself. Last & final offer should tell you that.
8/20/2014 6:18:51 PM
TBTNFL says:
Just cower at Bombardiers threats and give into every demand they throw at you. Great idea. If everyone is going to be laid off in 18 months the company should have no issues giving us the benefits they will never have to pay out. Keep lying to yourself but stop lying to everyone else.
8/20/2014 8:52:10 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Please re-read my post as I said half, not all.

I really don't get which part of "Thunder Bay is not viable" people don't understand. I also don't get how so many think them packing up is just a threat.

In the grand scheme of things, if people took the time to consider the offer for themselves rather than being sheep to the union they may have a change in opinion. You don't like the DC offer because the company isn't putting in enough? Why then, please tell me, your bargaining committee hasn't counter offered with requesting more? Oh wait, would that have anything to do with the National trying to throw their power around?

This testosterone match is really starting to piss me off. So many people affected here.
8/21/2014 2:34:05 PM
blackbird says:
TBTNFL, please we beg you to stop commenting to Me,Me,Me, we understand your only trying to educate but we're drowning in his river, Ignore him just like the rest of us, you know it's all about Me,Me,Me, and not the truth.
Good Luck Brothers, Unity
8/21/2014 4:38:57 PM
fastball says:
Ah...punctuation.
You never notice it til it's not there.
8/20/2014 6:20:37 PM
pylon says:
Dude, that's an insult to his intelligence!
8/21/2014 12:19:11 AM
tbay87 says:
I don't disagree that a lot of people commenting don't have a horse in this race, but unions have always had a vested interest in getting those not directly on either side of the conflict on their side. What do you think the TTC protests last week were about? Both the union and the company have gone out of their way to make this a very public dispute, so don't get mad at the public for forming an opinion.
8/21/2014 12:08:24 AM
moi says:
Good to hear you're so confident about finding another job if and when this place closes wazzy--the old saying "be careful what you wish for.." comes to mind.
Judging by your post,you won't have a problem then, when (and if) they relocate this facility.And how do you know that some of the fellow contributors to this thread aren't people that ALSO work at Bombardier? Not every member was,or is, in favour of staying out. Walking in circles will take you only just so far in this day and age wazzman.
8/21/2014 8:57:07 AM
Jack Frost says:
Strong Union solidarity is required now and for the future if there is to be a "middle-class" in Canada...

Vote UNION !!
8/20/2014 5:35:22 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Obviously none of you work there. No deal on the last offer!
8/20/2014 5:40:19 PM
orca says:
I know Bob Orr and that doesn't look like him lol!
8/20/2014 5:54:14 PM
cariboukid says:
I've always been pro-union and always will be. But seriously folks, go back to work already!
8/20/2014 6:04:31 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
As a Bombardier worker I sure hope level heads prevail & the offer put in front of you is at least considered. Keep in mind that you are gambling with the lives of 1300 people. I am all for fighting for the future generations but at what cost? A company of this size does not need the plant here in Thunder Bay in order to fill those orders for TTC & Metrolinx, especially when it's BLEEDING money. You accept this offer you will get your COLA rolled in AND paid to you throughout your next contract (I did not get a COLA of any kind), you will get a .10C raise in years 2&3 (I got nothing), your current pension remains intact as well as your benefits. IMO your Union leaders are using you as an example to flex their power nationally. If you think Unifor, or the company, give a crap about you and your future then you are deluded. Be smart about this, please.
8/20/2014 6:06:08 PM
JustMO says:
allaboutthetruth... I can't agree with you more! I am a spouse of a striker at Bombardier and I think everyone needs to step back and take a good look at the bigger picture. If this is rejected and they close the doors everyone is gonna be out a heck of a lot more than 4-5000$! And good luck to all the who don't have a lot of other skills and qualifications to fall back on to find other employment in this city. I think everyone should suck it up and cut their loses ... It's the 21st century and it's the new way of companies now a days! Think hard ppl, it might not just be a scare tactic on the companies part!
8/20/2014 6:53:54 PM
Oliver Paipoonge Resident says:
I have nothing to do with Bombardier, I'm a retired CEP now Unifor brother. I find it very sad that there's certain people who claim to be brothers make such sad and demeaning comments about fellow brothers, the union and the national union. Unions are about unity, solidarity and everything WE do is for the betterment of OUR past brothers, present brothers and future brothers, it's never about 1 single brother. WE made a oath when WE became brothers, strike action is tough, I've seen and participated in a few the last 41 years, I have nothing bad to say about the company, even in viable times it's always about the bottom line. Ohh.. that pension 3% contribution each is a joke, Resolute started a target plan in 2011 and it's 8% each and they were in Bankruptcy Protection. I and every other brother are praying for you, don't give up.
8/20/2014 7:22:59 PM
progress now says:
Interesting comment:

"Ohh.. that pension 3% contribution each is a joke, Resolute started a target plan in 2011 and it's 8% each and they were in Bankruptcy Protection. "

You can't negotiate it up to 8 per cent if you refuse to negotiate.

That said, everyone has to make their own mind up and I am sure that will happen.
8/20/2014 9:30:23 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Oh that pension 3% contribution is a hell of alot more than many companies offer. As a matter of fact, my pension, as a Bombardier employee is only matched at 50% of what I put in topped off at 2% total from the company. Which means I can put in as much as 20% and all I get is 2%. Future employees can make their own decisions on whether that is acceptable. That is of course if there will ever be a time for future employees. I fully support the premise of unions (safety standards, decent wages, benefits and the like) but at some point we need to make sure there is still something left for our kids. That pension offer is better than no pension or better yet, no plant to work in at all because we weren't deemed viable anymore due to a union making a National stand that does not help it's Thunder Bay membership. Will Unifor guarantee these workers a job in Thunder Bay elsewhere that pays the same? I highly doubt it. Draw the line and take the deal before its all gone.
8/20/2014 10:19:45 PM
tbag4life420 says:
This is what unifor is saying
8/20/2014 7:56:59 PM
gurty says:
Now the Ministry is involved? Kind of like getting the mother in law involved when a couple has a dispute!
Sign the contract or follow the company to Mexico!
8/20/2014 8:21:22 PM
orca says:
Just let the people vote. That's the only way you (Unifor) show you care for your members and their families. I pray for all members to vote with enlightened minds.
8/20/2014 9:01:09 PM
damanisback says:
I smell a $1000.00 signing bonus in the next offer after a resounding 98% no vote. They played their last card way too early. After sending 3 pretty much finished rockets and maybe a basket case lrv trainset in a week or two, their severly handicapped after that. Last move is to lock out the cope union to use as a show of force. but then management's ignorance and incompetence would be exposed and they would only turn on themselves.(WAIT A MINUTE THATS NOT SUCH A BAD IDEA) Hey lutz burtling please ship this management team off to some other plant, they don't have what it takes to get the job done.
8/20/2014 9:43:18 PM
nvjgu says:
All the problems are caused buy how much it costs to live, build, sell, buy anything in this country. you need at least 22 25 hr just to break even. You would be hard pressed to be able to save pension funds out of that. The average Canadian pay's 41 to 46% of there house hold income to tax, I would demand 1.00 1.00 1.00 no changes to anything. They don't like it then leave. City's is jacking up tax's like drunk sailors, gas is 1.40 ltr, hydro is crazy up, food is up 54% in the past years. It's time for the pay cheques to go up.
8/20/2014 9:54:43 PM
enos012 says:
I don't work there and I don't know all the deatils. But I will say cutting benfits post work into your 'golden years' is when you need it the most! Frankly I think somehow society needs to start working that everyone is covered.
8/20/2014 10:24:04 PM
Bobguy says:
I like what OP resident is saying. 3% is a joke however if the union wasn't grandstanding maybe they could have negotiated up to 8%. Instead they play a testosterone filled game of chicken and are forced to take 3% to the membership. Good work boys!!
8/20/2014 10:30:12 PM
tbay87 says:
Well said. Bombardier is going to fight long and hard for DC. The union would probably be better off accepting this and negotiating the specifics ("we'll give you DC, but you have to do better than 3%"). Fighting for future workers is a noble cause, but you also have to be realistic and realize where the power lies right now. I'm also worried the battle is partly symbolic (both the union and company want a good precedent going forward), and if things end up going south, Thunder Bay workers may be end up being little more than union "martyrs" (remember that Dias has a job no matter what happens to this plant).
8/21/2014 1:50:53 AM
watchful says:
To minime, you and your union brothers are so very insulting to all other non union workers in Thunder Bay. You label them stupid, uneducated, etc. etc. There but for the grace of god go you.
How dare any of you go into a place of business and expect service from all the people you have insulted.
I for one will remember and if this plant closes it will be interesting who comes job hunting. Oh and next time you go for dinner, don't forget your Bombardier Union shirt so everyone knows who you are, I am sure they will love serving those that have put them down as uneducated and undeserving of any pride.
8/20/2014 10:38:30 PM
blackbird says:
Minime's comment was regretful, I for one feel it was in bad taste, especially when Our retired Union Brothers work part-time for Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Sears etc., but before his comment, what set him off was the 6 unflattering anti-union name calling fear-mongering comments before his and now your idiotic comment, do you only read what you want to read. You don't need to comment I'll ignore it, I don't spend my life on the internet. To my fellow brothers don't heed or take to heart any of these anti negative comments, vote with your heart and go for the best contract you can and hold your heads up with pride Good Luck Brothers.
8/21/2014 2:02:39 AM
glock9 says:
Doesn't just about every bank offer opportunities to create an investment plan for the future ? If the company isn't willing to back a solid pension plan for employees it might be up to them to manage their paychecks and do it themselves, alot of people do.
8/20/2014 11:05:14 PM
fastball says:
Sometimes it's not about the money YOU'RE losing on the picket line.
You got your previous contracts and the quality of life because of the efforts of workers before you. They worked and sacrificed to make sure that future workers didn't get thrown under the bus.
I'm not sure if I could look a new hire in the eye and telling them that this is a good deal for them.
I know management would just as soon have all unions fall off a cliff - but that doesn't mean the workers should volunteer to take that first big step off one.
8/20/2014 11:20:50 PM
bttnk says:
@fastball - What part of the deal isn't good for new hires? They still get a pension. That on average over a 25 year career will leave them with over $250,000. They get the same wages as they are getting now. And lastly, they are free to decide if that isn't good enough and find employment elsewhere.

I would have no problem looking a new hire in the eyes and telling them that this is the same type of contract that millions of other people in North America have or wish they had.
8/21/2014 9:04:27 AM
kazper says:
Nice job Unifor. Lets give Bombardier an excuse to close the plant and move the jobs elsewhere out of the city. While you reject offers for the "benefit of your membership", your union members, and their families, suffer with ridiculously low strike pay. I see this over and over again. WHY????? Remember Safeway years ago? Remember the boarded up stores, over Christmas? Are we going to see the bombardier plant closed? I seriously hope not. What the membership needs to do is arrange a vote of no confidence in Unifor, get rid of the union PERMANENTLY. I have worked "union", and I have worked non union. I will always take non union work. Much better working environment for all employees.
8/21/2014 12:07:33 AM
Shark says:
For one how exactly does this contract benefit the employees? There is no gain just loses. Funny you should mention Safeway. No more full time jobs, no benefits. Ya your right they fought for nothing. They only lost because of the mindless sheep that kept on supporting the greedy shareholders of Safeway. Now that Safeway got what they wanted did they pass those savings on to you? Nope their paychecks just got fatter. Keep on with your way of thinking and not long in the future we will all be making nothing and there will be no economy to think of, just the rich and the slaves.
8/21/2014 9:22:44 AM
minime says:
If it wasn't for union jobs in the city, who would be getting their cars painted (fixed), who would be getting their houses fixed, who would be going out for suppers.
Without unions to begin with we all would be working for minimum wages. I worked non union job before that paid well but our wages were based on union wages
Oh yeah and if I don't have a good job why anybody else should have good paying job with benefits-right?- That's why I was so pissed off.
8/21/2014 3:09:42 AM
union4ever says:
Dont do what we did at bowater woodlands a few contracts ago,we took a bath on concessions only to be put back ten years,and it was a big mistake,stand your ground,and keep what you fought for!
8/21/2014 6:47:11 AM
Curious says:
I hope the union is proud of itself. They have become too controling and have taken over the country. Why do you think there are few jobs left in Canada and the US. Everything is going to foreign countries thanks to the unions. This is one more company that employs lots of Thunder Bay folks that will be heading south. Anther thousand or so folks looking for work when there isn't enough jobs now. Way to go Unifor. Who will pay your wages now!
8/21/2014 8:14:30 AM
humnchuck says:
There are many minimum wage jobs available if you wish to take one. If you like the idea of safe working conditions, wage increases at any point, limits on the number of hours and times you can be asked to work, etc. you may wish to research the history or organized labour.

Whether you agree with the strike or not, to say that current unemployment (which is actually quite low in Canada compared to many parts of the world) is the fault of unions without explanation is rather silly.
8/21/2014 3:06:39 PM
Rob20 says:
It is equally hilarious and pathetic all the comments on here about how workers should just take the scraps the companies offer them and be grateful they have anything. This is the exact reason unions were created. To ensure the workers actually got something of value for their work. Not measly peanuts what the five year old Chinese girl working on the plant overseas for pennies an hour no bathroom breaks gets. Everyone in the public should be supporting the union. It was people getting less than I deserve the community as a whole. And everyone should be pissed off at government for letting companies try to shaft employees in our country like to try to do here and have been for years. Corporations have been given to many loopholes to screw the worker at the expense of their bottom line so they can boost stock profits
8/21/2014 8:37:23 AM
animiki says:
I'm not going to argue that the unionized workers should or shouldn't take this offer (I'm not directly involved and don't have enough detailed information to make an informed decision). However, one point does bear mentioning--the situation facing corporations and unions today, and that facing them in the past, are very different. Unions were created to combat the worst excesses of the early corporations, which existed in an era of non-existent labor and safety standards. Unions were vital in creating safe and sustainable workplaces. Today, however, thanks to globalization, corporations are responding to market forces far beyond the reach of unions or governments. Simply put, it's possible to make stuff far more cheaply in other parts of the world, and corporations that don't adapt to that are doomed to fail. Unions and workers end up being collateral damage. It sucks, it really does, but there it is.
8/21/2014 10:59:43 AM
blueox says:
Good comment, You might be right "it's possible to make stuff far more cheaply in other parts of the world, and corporations that don't adapt to that are doomed to fail"
Here's a situation where Companies, Union and government can work together.
http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/heinz-announces-deal-to-keep-leamington-ont-plant-in-operation-1.1706270
Maybe the consumers who boycotted Heinz and stopped buying their products had something to do with this, or the tariff's, import taxes imposed on products made by child labor and workers impoverished in other parts of the world. I don't know I'm guessing. It's just that I've stop buying Heinz Products for over a year, and buy only Canadian Made Products, there are alternatives.
8/21/2014 2:22:25 PM
realityman40 says:
I am a Bombardier worker and to be honest with you this strike has been the worst that that could have ever happen, both to myself and my family. My marriage is anything but good. Funny the way money works for us mid class workers. so here it is. the deal the company offered is really not that bad. yes we go down to 98%on our benefits.big deal. our job is worth keeping . keep in mind the plant is easily moved to the gta. Lots of empty buildings there no shipping cost and labor cost are less. the company is in the business of making money like every other business corporate or not. Lets get back to work people... think long and hard. we can worry about 3 years in 3 years. now calculate the money you have already lost.
8/21/2014 8:42:13 AM
Oliver Paipoonge Resident says:
Respectfully I feel for you and your family, really if you were union or not, Strike action is tough but at times unavoidable. I've been married for over 40 yrs. and now reap the benefits we fought for in the 74-75 strike that went on for 6 months. My wife now has a healthy pension if I die (from My Pension)and that's for her lifetime. Do you think we didn't suffer and lose during that time. We gained it all back and the company is still here. The fear that the company would pack up and move to South America was spread amongst us also, it did not change our resolve...Do you believe the union is any different in the GTA?, Unifor is based down east and the majority of members work there. I am being sincerely truthful, times haven't changed that much except now we have cell phones, satellite TV, Computers and fuel efficient vehicles, well I guess it has. Again if your Union or Not, it hurts to see people suffer caused by a Company's bottom line(I'm being nice), do you believe they care?
8/21/2014 1:04:45 PM
fools annoy me says:
I wish "watchful" and some of the other rabid union haters out there would have the nerve to wear "I hate union members" T shirts after this strike so all union members would boycott any business even affiliated with them. What, scared now the shoe would be on the other foot? Strange how a keyboard can grow courage, huh?
8/21/2014 9:23:02 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
If you striking people think it would be better to shut down the place, why are you not getting a job elsewhere now?
8/21/2014 9:47:12 AM
Bob Roberts says:
Unifor executive made the call not to take it to the members for a Vote. What were they afraid of, the solidarity being broken by the voting memebers that need to be working vs striking in order to stay aloat. They could have had a meeting with the memebers, outlined their reasoning and position and then call for a vote, if they believe they can get more out of the company in the end thru futher dialog. Short sighted for sure, now the company wants to know where it stands by forcing the Vote. Any last and final offer after a NO vote or rejection of the offer will more than likley result in further company $$ saving with further concessions given in the end. Unifor has shown their true stripes by not considering the "Future" of the plant in Tbay and the welfare of the due paying members. Its all about the bottom line $$ in business. I hope that the members can get future Ring of Fire jobs or join the ranks of the legions of people working multiple minimum paying part time jobs.
8/21/2014 10:23:03 AM
fastball says:
You really don't understand unions and the whole strike procedure, do you?
The rank-and-file membership gave a mandate to their bargaining committee to bargain with management on their behalf to get the best deal possible. If the committee doesn't think that this is an unacceptable deal - they have been given the authority to automatically reject the deal WITHOUT having to run to the membership to get their OK for every little negotiated item. That's called having faith in your committee that they won't sell you down the river.
What the company is now doing is standard management procedure in any strike - divide and conquer. Look for the cracks in union solidarity and apply the pressure. Create doubt in the membership in the integrity of their negotiators.
They might force the membership to vote - but their negotiating committee will recommend rejection of the deal.
This is all standard union procedure - something of which you seem woefully unaware.
8/21/2014 1:12:18 PM
bttnk says:
@fastball - Your statement is correct, but lets keep in mind that far less than 50% of members voted to give the "committee" the ability to strike. For every striking member I've talked to that supports their stance, there are two that don't.
8/21/2014 2:46:51 PM
fastball says:
@bttnk - if you want to get technical, here - the people that voted, voted unanimously to extend a strike mandate to their committee.
If there were workers that chose NOT to participate in the democratic process - well, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. They had a chance to voice their opinion. They had a chance to let their voices be heard and to perhaps sway the membership - but they chose to stay silent and do nothing. They chose to let others do their thinking for them. And if it is true, as a previous poster stated - that there were LOTS of workers that were against it....they could have all voted NO, and perhaps NOT gone out on strike. Where were the NO votes?
Now they want to whine and cry about how things worked out? These votes are all done by secret ballot, so there is absolute confidentiality and anonymity, no matter how one voted.
To me, there is nothing worse than someone who chooses to abstain from the decision making process....and then criticizes the result.


8/21/2014 6:16:45 PM
SOCRATES1 says:
This offer in a few years may change to a better one. Our goal now is to keep this plant here and open.
8/21/2014 10:24:12 AM
Joey_J says:
This is going to prove to be divisive. I expect the vote will be extremely tight, 50something 40 something percentage-wise and that this will divide Unifor's membership whether they return to the Assembly line or the picket line following the vote.
8/21/2014 11:53:30 AM
tsx says:
the company proposal for defined contribution plan of 3% from employee and 3% from company is garbage.
If the company is serious they should contribute 10% and 5% from employee, this way an employee could retire with a half decent pension. Its still nowhere what a defined benefit pension would return when you retire but at least its not to bad
8/21/2014 12:02:40 PM
bttnk says:
@tsx - Is it really that bad? An employee earning $50,000 annually for 25 years would have approximately $250,000 in their pension at retirement. And this is a very conservative estimate based on no wage increase over that period. That is a pretty good start for a retirement fund.
8/21/2014 2:49:36 PM
Jack Frost says:
WOW !!

A whole 10 cent raise, now that should and will go far to pay for ever increasing heat, hydro, food, clothes, gasoline vehicle maintenance, and everything else... (sarcasm)

So sad that all the "Rabid Union Haters" are taking the wrong side in this "another" broken community issue !!
8/21/2014 1:59:07 PM
allaboutthetruth says:
Are you kidding me?? I fully support the initial premise behind unions but it all goes back to how much they have lost their focus. Unions now appear to the average person as nothing but greedy entitlement people and it is no wonder from the sarcasm in your post.

I am not taking the side of the company but I certainly have no sympathy for Unions who want to take, take, take, even if it is from a company. There are plenty of people working inside that plant right now who got NOTHING, & please, save your rhetoric that "A union would have gotten you something" because I don't want to hear it. What has your union gotten you right now other than out on the freaking picket line struggling to support yourself & your family?

When are the rabid non-union haters going to man up & admit that their National is making them an example? An example that they are going to lose if the vote is no. Unifor doesn't pay your bills!
8/21/2014 2:25:59 PM
fastball says:
"What has your union gotten you right now ..."
Well, your union has gotten you a decent wage, benefits and a pension package for the last couple of decades. It's allowed you to work in safety. It's allowed you to put a roof over your family's heads and food on the table. It's allowed you to buy medicine for your kids and see doctors.
Yes, sometimes the price for all that (and much more) is the occasional interlude where you have to put their foot down and say that you won't allow anyone to take that stuff away.
So, yeah...THAT'S what your union has done for you.
8/22/2014 11:55:18 AM
blackbird says:
It's a Whopping .35% come on you can't be serious, no wonder you'll always be a Janitor.
If you like it tell your contracted company you want a .35% raise. Even your minimum wage went up $0.75 that's 7.36% and it's crap.
8/23/2014 5:03:02 PM
tsx says:
bttnk, yes it is really that bad
6% x $50,000 = $3000 per year x 25 years = $75,000 plus a little interest or put it in the market and hope u make a return on it. Just pray the market doesn't crash and you have next to nothing. It sure doesn't equal $250,000 like you stated. Now you can do the math with my numbers for a total of 15% per year or better yet keep the defined benefit plan.
8/21/2014 7:00:12 PM
fools annoy me says:
I often wonder if some of these posters are actually Bombardier management or even their spokes-spindoctor.
8/22/2014 10:09:28 AM
Royalflush says:
I'll bet they are company hacks trying to destroy morale! They have their eye on million dollar bonus cheques if this deal goes through.
8/23/2014 9:30:50 AM
TAcontuesday says:
so here it is... The current strike is under the premise of " protecting future generations..." but 6 years ago, the union allowed the Co. to put into place the graduated pay scale, basically screwing all new hires out of aprox 30 percent of there money ( there is a 6 dollar difference between 1st year and 3rd year)... none of the long timers cared then about the new guys and how it would affect them, nor did the union at the time. But now all of a sudden there is a new union with a shiny new label and its all " caring and concern" about future employees and not "splitting the membership" ... Face it guys... we are being used in order to try and get a big win for Unifor... but they wont buy your truck back after the repo guys come for it... nor will they purchase another house when you lose it the the bank... the deal aint great but i have seen plenty worse...
8/22/2014 12:53:08 PM
FormerLatter says:
The 900+ unifor jobs will not move to Mexico, if a deal is not made now or in the foreseeable future, but Bombardier will move out of Thunder Bay. Make no mistake, "Canadian content" in these provincially funded projects can be satisfied in any of the empty plants/facilities in southern Ontario, and there would be line-ups a mile long with skilled workers ready to work on highly interesting, highly publicized, and highly respected projects such as the subway, Go Train, or street car.
Union leaders need to let their men and women vote WITHOUT INTIMIDATION. I fear the lows some will stoop to (next Tuesday) outside the MOL supervised building. MOL can prevent intimidation inside the voting center, but I feel for those people that will try to get inside to cast their vote and come out to be ostracized by the loudest (and least intelligent) of their peers.
Keep Thunder Bay flourishing for the 10-15 years remaining on these current projects, and many more projects to come in the future!
8/22/2014 8:35:33 PM
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