Called to vote on the last offer made by the company, and supervised by the Ministry of Labour, Bombardier workers in Thunder Bay soundly proved their determination to fight for good jobs and a secure future in Ontario, Canada.
Members of Unifor Local 1075 went on strike on 14 July 2014 in response to Bombardier’s demands for deep concessions. The recent offer was put to a vote at the request of the company in accordance with provincial legislation offering such an option at each bargaining round. 80 per cent of the workers voted against the offer.
Commenting on the results of the vote Jerry Dias, Unifor National President said, “These workers have shown incredible resolve and determination in their struggle to maintain good jobs for today and for future generations.”
“These results send a clear message to Bombardier that the membership of this union supports its bargaining team, which has consistently told the company that it cannot accept the demanded concessions," added Diaz.
If accepted the proposal would have meant large cuts in benefits for current workers and retirees, while offering a wage increase of less than one per cent over three years and denying the current defined benefit pension plan to those hired after 31 May 2014. Those hired in 2011 would have received no retiree benefits, and would have got a one-time payment of 350 CAD (245 EUR). More than half of the workers would have been affected by this concession.
Unifor Local 1075 President Dominic Pasqualino said there are better ways for the company to save money if it needs to do so. "Working with the union, the company can eliminate so many wasteful practices that there would be enough savings to both increase the company profits and continue to fund our modest pension," Pasqualino added.