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2014-08-25 at 16:36

LETTER: Bombardier executive addresses striking workers

By Aaron Rivers
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Dear Bombardier employees and families,

The vote before you on a new contract proposal with Bombardier Transportation is critical.  This is an important decision that impacts your families and children today and into the future.

Bombardier Transportation has received a lot of criticism from Unifor at a national and local level for the decision to request a Ministry of Labour supervised vote. Despite all the negative accusations and grand-standing by Unifor, the reason for choosing this approach is simple; time is of the essence.

After six weeks of labour disruption and with children getting ready to return to school, Bombardier Transportation believes it is time to end this strike, for everyone's benefit.

From the company's perspective, no one will benefit from endless weeks of strike. And despite what the Union is promising, I can assure you that even after another four, eight, or 12 weeks more of strike, the last company offer will remain the same.

I personally do not want to see you and your families face further loss of income without end. We all have bills to pay no matter what position we hold or how much money we earn per year.

Time is also of the essence for the suppliers and businesses we work with. We have already received notice that several of them are making some difficult choices about their manpower commitments for September. Bombardier Transportation believes that ending the strike quickly is the right thing to do for our suppliers and their workers too.

Bombardier Transportation also has to think about the impact of time on our customers and the business here in Thunder Bay. You all know better than anyone that Bombardier in Thunder Bay has faced significant production challenges and delays over the past several years. These delays have put growing financial and performance pressure on this Thunder Bay site. A continued strike will only worsen these conditions to the detriment of our customers and ultimately all of us.

Bombardier Transportation has made a competitive offer designed to position the Thunder Bay plant to face competition from plants in countries that do not have Canadian labour laws and costs. This is also being supported by a 10 per cent reduction in management, no salary increases for management, and freezes on travel and expenses, to name a few. In addition, all new white collar and management employees will also be enrolled in the defined contribution pension plan.

All of these measures are intended to continue to provide employees with good wages and benefits while being able to bid competitively on future work.

Bombardier Transportation is ready to conclude a new collective agreement with your union leadership, so that you can get back to work building the finest transportation products in the world. 

When you consider your vote on Tuesday, I ask one thing; that you consider your own individual and family needs first. If you want to vote yes and return to work, be free to do so without fear of repercussion.

With respect,

Aaron Rivers
Head of Operations, Bombardier Transportation Americas

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Comments

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Shark says:
"Bombardier Transportation has made a competitive offer designed to position the Thunder Bay plant to face competition from plants in countries that do not have Canadian labour laws and costs."
So what you are saying is if we can't exploit you we will just exploit the poor Mexicans. I find that very disgusting.
8/25/2014 4:45:37 PM
blackbird says:
OK wait...Aaron Rivers Head of Operations, Bombardier Transportation Americas. This is the man that runs the business, Says "If you want to vote yes and return to work, be free to do so without fear of repercussion." What if I vote NO, will there be repercussions when you concede and we get a fair contract. IS That a Threat! Wait He said this " you can get back to work building the finest transportation products in the world", right we build it you administrate. Doesn't that deserve a little bit of respect.
Won't be long, they are desperate. He wants that bonus.
8/25/2014 7:56:17 PM
cac says:
blah, blah, blah...Poor company...blah, blah, blah
8/25/2014 4:49:26 PM
Rob20 says:
Disgusting passive aggressive threatening by playing the nice guy to make the union look greedy. Big companies have learned that it's easy to make unions and employees look greedy when you frame it under the guise of the company's future to basically shortchange the employees without reducing the benefits and salary that the executives get. Bombardier profit levels over the last few years I've been more than good enough to sustain the current expenses and benefits and salaries of these employees. The only thing they are interested in is cutting expenses, through salary reduction and benefit reduction, to boost stock price. Nothing more. I've owned bombardier stock for the last 10 years so I know very well with the profit levels and expenses have been over the last decade. This is nothing more than an effort to boost the stock price by cutting expenses via employees benefits. They have a tonne of current business going on & future potential that does not require this to occur. Disgusting corporate greed.
8/25/2014 5:09:45 PM
SF says:
Unifor unions look after themselves,high wages,high union dues,put companies at a disadvantage with their high union dues,unions were needed many decades ago although they were corrupt,unions are not needed today as there are many government agencies to protect workers,companies must remain competitive or move factories to a more cost effective country as many have done.All workers are free to seek other employment if they feel the wages and benefits are below standards,if it wasnot for the union dues a company and yourself must pay you would be making more money.Say goodbye to the Unions they really only are interested in the money{DUES} you and the company must pay.Either look for employment elsewhere at a higher wage and better benefits as the union suggests or go back to work to take care of you and your family. GOODLUCK to BOMBARDIERS Thunder Bay Employees,Say Goodbye to the Union!
8/25/2014 5:21:50 PM
blueox says:
Jeez, Big Booboo I mistakenly click the like button can I get it back...I DO NOT AGREE!!!
It looked like he was for fair wages and benefits, then when I really look at it, it's just the typical Union Bashing, Idiotic Comment from someone who does not know what he's talking about, and just shows how much he envy's Union members because of money...
You really believe it's about money? I did not need to seek other employment for over 40 years. My expertise and intelligence kept me and others from seeking alternative work. When I recently retired employment was abundant, if I wanted it. Companies require skilled workers of many trades to succeed in business. I'll let you in on the real truth, Unions will be here when You and I are long gone, so for now LIVE WITH IT.
8/25/2014 8:19:31 PM
Unions_Are says:
Brothers and Sisters, today you vote on your own merit, not that of others and whatever the outcome we all respect the entity of Union Solidarity. To think on the level of the few discontent and envious including King Rivers, we need to reciprocate with this. If you do not want our highly trained, skilled and educated Brothers and Sisters, then you are right there will be a exodus but it will not be the company. We brothers and sisters are a wanted commodity in other provinces and countries that will treat us with better dignity and respect. We gave them a choice to keep us. They will have to hire new workers and build a inferior product while losing the almighty dollar, instead of profiting like they are now for years to come. The Choice is The Company's, Do You Want Us To Stay let us know before it's too late. Unity Brothers and Sisters.
8/26/2014 11:12:06 AM
TBTNFL says:
No, the extremely high wages of management puts the company at risk. 32 managers make a quarter or what 900 make. Think about that for a minute while you put your foot in your mouth.
8/25/2014 9:35:33 PM
Royalflush says:
Good Lord, get that man away from the kool aid jug. Oooops, i'm afraid its too late, I think he's had too much.
8/30/2014 1:35:29 AM
kurt says:
in the end . it is every man(women) for them selves .... no one is gonna be their when the bank is knocking on your door for their mortgage payment - or truck payment
8/25/2014 5:46:03 PM
blueox says:
Been out on strike for 6 months once and 4 months another time, never had the bank knocking, why do you kids always worry about material things that can be replaced including the job, there's more to life, get off the computer and go work to pay my pension, it's my time to play.
8/25/2014 8:33:41 PM
kurt says:
lol , and you are the reason dislike unions , and i hope they shut it down and go to mexico ... i do not owe you anything lol
8/25/2014 10:53:12 PM
TBTNFL says:
Lol you hate unions because you have no idea what you are talking about. Everyone for themselves.... You are management material Kurt, def, dumb, and blind to reality.
8/26/2014 2:19:13 AM
glock9 says:
Sounds like a call center script.
8/25/2014 5:53:44 PM
hockeyday says:
Mr Rivers if you move your work out of province because you like Mexican wages than you should lose every single nickel of Ontario business and I would rather give it to the Europeans. That's the real leverage here.
8/25/2014 5:55:12 PM
SarahB says:
Bombardier is a highly successful company with excellent profits and years of orders already booked. Workers at Bombardier deserve to share at least a little of that profit they generate!
8/25/2014 6:07:01 PM
TIC says:
As a BRAND NEW employee and one of the few who this proposal affects the most I must say I have NEVER been pressured by anyone except for Bombardier themselves. The union and its members have been so helpful in helping me to understand and answering any questions I have. I have had management phoning me to see what I am going to vote and trying to give me all the great benefits of this proposal and not be able to answer any of my questions. Wierd.
8/25/2014 6:59:30 PM
tsb says:
Shows which side is most desperate.
8/25/2014 8:45:41 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Stick your 3% you know where! TREAT US BETTER, WE DESERVE IT!
8/25/2014 7:16:45 PM
spectre says:
"This is also being supported by a 10 per cent reduction in management, no salary increases for management, and freezes on travel and expenses, to name a few."

Freezes on travel and expenses? How many people from management at Bombardier Thunder Bay just went to Mexico in the past 2 - 3 weeks? First class, nice hotels? How long does Aaron Rivers stay in town at a time, flies in and out of TBay on a private jet. I guess we have different ideas as to what travel and expenses freezes are huh?
8/25/2014 8:17:57 PM
Wazzman says:
Well i just found out the parts have been correctly built for the lrv so now that they were on strike company will have no penalties for delivering late becouse of this big booboo so now that the correct parts are sitting at keefer so now the lrv can get built so this means now its unifors fault for this delay ohh well lets just see what happens if they vote no them we will give em what they want and everybody is happy and workin again but hell gotta give the company credit for trying gl maybe next time VOTE NO
8/25/2014 8:31:26 PM
Today1 says:
Is this guy for real....bringing the children concept into this!! Sounds like Bombardier is on the verge of bankruptcy. What a soap opera that they have fabricated. Sounds like some of the emails that I get from some forign countries I get....have I got a deal for you...
8/25/2014 8:49:46 PM
nvjgu says:
Members of Unifor. If that's there final offer, think of yourselves 3 years from now with a 10c raise. There's not a private sector union of which I'm am a member, would ratify that contract. 10c, think about it. And think about what the Safeway workers did, they did not waver, even if it means leaving town. I know of a few that did.
8/25/2014 8:59:50 PM
or$en says:
since mcjobs have become acceptable since the"rescission"
this union stand for it members .. but many more will benefit.

it is brought up about how much loccal econmy hurts cause the employees aren't spending atm.they will have more to spend for yrs to come as will non union jobs that benifit from the union win

8/25/2014 9:26:01 PM
blackbird says:

Do you think striking Bombardier workers will accept the company's final offer when they vote on it on Tuesday?

Total Votes: 737

Yes: 37.58%

No: 62.42%

Good luck Brothers and Sisters on the vote tomorrow.
8/26/2014 12:17:34 AM
toonarmy1970 says:
i can see it now.bombardier shuts up shop and then the workers turn on the union.when they do leave town Mcdonald's is always hiring.Get a grip vote yes for contract and lets get back to work.Why risk your future when union is only looking out for themselves.
8/26/2014 6:55:17 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Actually the union is looking at the future, it's well being now as well as latter. Something the company (lack of) bargaining committee is not understanding.
8/26/2014 8:48:01 AM
Unions_Are says:
Brothers and Sisters, today you vote on your own merit, not that of others and whatever the outcome we all respect the entity of Union Solidarity. To think on the level of the few discontent and envious including King Rivers, we need to reciprocate with this. If you do not want our highly trained, skilled and educated Brothers and Sisters, then you are right there will be a exodus but it will not be the company. We brothers and sisters are a wanted commodity in other provinces and countries that will treat us with better dignity and respect. We gave them a choice to keep us. They will have to hire new workers and build a inferior product while losing the almighty dollar, instead of profiting like they are now for years to come. The Choice is The Company's, Do You Want Us To Stay let us know before it's too late. Unity Brothers and Sisters.
8/26/2014 11:13:14 AM
moonpie says:
For a second there I thought you were Mel Gibson giving your Braveheart speech. The world does not revolve around this strike, please stop with the grandeur.
8/26/2014 8:02:01 PM
Oliver Paipoonge Resident says:
you know as a outsider looking in please continue with the "Grandeur" after reading the mean comments that don't make sense, you show a little humor with a grandeur of truth, I don't quite understand how people want to rule other people stop this, vote this, but you know this comes from a old guy, and really don't understand some punk bully, when all they have to do is ignore you...please do continue, wait...FREEDOM!!!! LOL
8/26/2014 10:05:22 PM
working_man says:
Really sad to watch, be very careful people, going to be another long, cold winter. One of the coldest places on earth is a parking lot on Montreal St. in Jan and Feb.
8/26/2014 8:08:25 AM
moi says:

Good point, and I agree with your comment.
I've been on strike, and the circle walkers that voted in favour of staying out have no clue or idea, what's in store for them down the road.Many a relationship,marriage,and family have become permantly broken because of a prolonged strike,and this strike action by uniform local 1075 will prove to be no different.I wish these "workers" luck, 'cause they'll need it in more ways than one.
8/27/2014 8:23:23 PM
FormerLatter says:
Plenty of smoke blowing, and management bashing, and half-truths and non-truths. I would love to see this passion put to work building trains and maintaining this community. That would be special.
Take a break from your rants, and think rationally about today’s decision.
Don’t forget, today’s decision combined with leadership misinformation and a complete disregard for “bargaining” on the part of the union exec, will bare the fruits of these labours.
8/26/2014 9:21:54 AM
blackbird says:
Show a little respect for Union Brothers and sisters and cease the Unifor, Union leadership Bashing who are UNION BROTHERS AND SISTERS not some Outside PR Specialist Hired to sway Public Opinion, enough let us vote...
8/26/2014 3:11:21 PM
SF says:
BBD.B stock June 2008 $8.97,Today $3.80,stock is down 20% this year,January 2014 Bombardier announces 1700 layoffs,June 2014 1800 layoffs,in the past months many executive positions eliminated.Do they have billions in work backlog,yes,but profit is note going up its down from past years,for those who feel they are making tons of money buy the stock it is based on PROFIT.As for the Unions they protect themselves first and foremost and then they protect the slackers at work as many of the hard workers are familiar with at Unionized Plants.You pay your union dues and the Company pays a lot more per hour to the Union than you do!If it was not for the Dues paid a company would make more profit which would in turn improve wages.The Unions protect the slackers at the plant which limits profit which limits wages. Goodluck to the Thunder Bay workers.Say GOODBYE to the Unions
8/26/2014 4:03:02 PM
blueox says:

Nov 1st, 2012...Bombardier workers strike at Quebec rail equipment plant

Nov 22, 2012...Striking Quebec rail workers reject Bombardier’s contract offer

Dec 1st, 2012...Bombardier included a 12.5 per cent wage increase over five years, a $9-million pension plan contribution that would raise employee benefits by 18 per cent and a commitment to invest $3 million in new state-of-the-art laser welding technology that would return some jobs that were outsourced to the United States.
Dec 3rd, 2012...Union back working

Unions Are Here Forever
8/26/2014 6:23:53 PM
Gary187 says:
Bombardier has been more than fair with the employees and now will move their company. So thank you to those who think they are irreplaceable. Have a Merry Christmas
8/28/2014 3:12:36 PM
Kelli says:
I sure wish that these workers could exercise the ability to think for themselves rather than Unifor doing it for them. Please think of your families, especially around Christmas and what they need to survive.
8/29/2014 5:27:05 PM
oscarmyerweiner says:
"When you consider your vote on Tuesday, I ask one thing; that you consider your own individual and family needs first."

Exactly why we said NO!
8/31/2014 10:05:21 PM
Gary187 says:
One of the problems is that the young workers outnumber the older ones who have nothing to worry about. When it comes down to benefits, these workers are thinking that they are on the same level as Police, Fire, Teachers and other essential services. These guys are NOT essential and dont really matter in the grand scheme
9/1/2014 10:15:45 AM
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