THUNDER BAY — A union leader at Thunder Bay's Bombardier Transportation plant says he needs to learn more details about the company's decision to sell some assets and cut 5,000 jobs across the organization.
The company has said it expects nothing "significant," but Dominic Pasqualino of Unifor is more concerned in any case about the future of the local plant after its current contracts wrap up.
Bombardier on Thursday announced the sale of its Q series aircraft program and its flight and technical training business, saying it will focus on its core transportation and business jet units.
Restructuring over the next 12 to 18 months will reduce its global workforce which currently numbers almost 70,000 employees.
"It's really too early to say anything. I don't know how it's going to affect us," Pasqualino said. "I'm sure the union will be making inquiries. I'm not even sure the company knows at this point."
A spokesperson at Bombardier's head office in Montreal told Tbnewswatch in an email that "there are no significant impacts expected for Bombardier Rail in Canada...The impact will be mainly in Europe."
The Unifor Local 1075 president said what he does know is that if the Thunder Bay plant does not get new work by 2020 "it's going to be dramatic for us."
Pasqualino said the plant will run out of work by the end of 2019.
"We need more bi-level [passenger rail car] and LRV [light rail vehicle] contracts, and if we had a subway car contract, that would be great too."
Bombardier has committed to complete its current LRV contract for Toronto by the end of next year, and Pasqualino believes that objective will be achieved.
He said he hopes the government of Premier Doug Ford will help arrange for a new contract of some kind beyond that.