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Dec 5, 2012

Striking Bombardier railcar workers to vote on conciliator plan

If workers agree, production can resume Thursday morning
By Susan Taylor
    
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(Reuters) — Workers at a Bombardier railcar factory in Quebec will vote Wednesday night on a conciliator's recommendation that could end a month-long strike, the company said on Tuesday.

Bombardier said it backs a report submitted on Sunday by conciliator Jean Poirier, while the Confederation of National Trade Unions said it would disclose its position to members just ahead of the vote.

Neither side has revealed the recommendations contained in the report.

Some 330 workers at the plant in La Pocatiere, which is 360 km northeast of Montreal, walked off the job Nov. 1 over issues around outsourcing, pension funding and salary. Their contract expired on Sept. 30, 2011.

If the workers agree to the conciliator's recommendations, full production can resume Thursday morning, said Bombardier spokesman Marc Laforge.

The plant, which makes rail equipment for customers including the Toronto Transit Commission, New Jersey Transit and the Chicago Transit Authority, has honoured commitments to customers, as it has 200 non-union employees who have taken over some factory work, Laforge said.

Separately, members of the machinists' union at Bombardier's Learjet facility in Wichita, Kan., voted last month to accept a proposed contract. That ended a five-week strike which hinged on health-care issues.

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