Bombardier staff walk off the job

Union predicts strike will go on for a ‘really long time’
By Sabrina Nanji
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/28/2014

A battle over pensions could translate into a prolonged strike at Bombardier's facility in Thunder Bay, Ont., something the union warns could lead to in-demand workers packing up and heading West in search of new jobs if the matter isn't settled quickly.

In mid-July, about 900 Unifor workers at the transportation giant’s factory in northern Ontario walked off the job after negotiators hit a wall at the bargaining table.

Of concern for the union is that the contract currently on the table lacks bones. Not only have benefits been slashed, but the pension plan has taken a hit, according to Dominic Pasqualino, president of Unifor’s local 1075 chapter. In particular, Bombardier wants to move new-hires to a defined contribution (DC) plan, while keeping current employees on a defined benefit (DB) pension.