THUNDER BAY -- Bombardier officials say they’re disappointed the union breached a strike protocol agreement reached just last week.
On Monday, the company’s head of operations for the Americas Aaron Rivers had to wait more than an hour to enter the site, said company spokeswoman Stephanie Ash. That violates the 25-minute maximum wait time ordered by the court last Wednesday.
“These wait times are completely unacceptable and go against everything that was agreed to in the strike protocol agreement that was, again, ordered by the court,” she said.
Bombardier is working with their legal team, city police and the union to make sure the protocol is adhered to and Ash said the premise of the protocol was to ensure the safety of all parties and that the local plant could be accessed in a timely manner.
A supplier was also denied access to the site Monday, which is also contrary to the strike protocol, said Ash, adding the company is disappointed that members of the bargaining committee involved in forming the protocol were at the site when this was happening.
“Not very impressed at all by the lack of leadership today,” she said.
“We will be seeking alternative remedies as we move forward this week.”
What the next steps are for the company are not clear yet, but Ash said they hope to work something out with Unifor.
“Our focus has always been to try to work collaboratively wherever possible with Unifor, again hoping we can convince them of the need to abide by these strike protocol agreements so we don’t have to end back up at court,” she said.
Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said the pickets were upset that Rivers isn’t talking to the bargaining committee and trying to resolve the strike.
“Our guys are getting frustrated,” he said.
The supply truck trying to access the site Monday was to bring in parts for the assembly production line and Pasqualino said the union is upset about that.
“I think that really they should be at the bargaining table and dealing with resolving the issues rather than trying to bypass the bargaining and trying to build the cars on their own,” he said.
Thunder Bay Police Service had officers on scene at the time Rivers and the supply truck were attempting to access the plant. Executive officer Chris Adams said an investigation is ongoing onto whether the court-ordered protocol was breached.