Bombardier workers to strike Monday

FL000

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Bombardier to strike

MONTREAL (CP) - A strike has been set for Monday morning at the three Montreal-area plants of Bombardier Aerospace and union officials warn it could be a long one.

Workers endorsed the walkout by a resounding margin of 91.5 per cent in vote results announced Saturday. The employees rejected management's latest contract offer by a margin of 60.3 per cent earlier in the day. The company employs 7,400 workers at its three plants and 6,072 voted on the contract offer, while 5,236 stuck around for the strike vote.

The walkout will begin at 6 a.m. Monday.

"We won't be back to work until we have an offer that is acceptable to the membership," said Vincent Blais, head of the aerospace division of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Bombardier representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Blais said the union is not in a big rush to return to the negotiating table before Monday.

"After we make sure we've got all our picket people in line for Monday, (then) we'll advise the employer their offer was refused," he said. "We've got a strike vote, we're on strike Monday, and if they're prepared to sit down and talk, then so are we."

Workers poured out of Olympic Stadium hooting and hollering at the conclusion of the strike vote, with one man screaming, "They're finished at Bombardier!"

David Desmond, an employee at Bombardier's plant in suburban Dorval, echoed the sentiments of many workers when he said a strike was regretted but necessary.

"I think it's scary for everyone, we haven't had a strike since 1965," he said. "I think many of the workers today have been pushed into a corner. We've been losing earning potential over many years now, and at some point we've got to start getting a little bit back."

Several workers said they felt their salary was not up to industry standards, citing other aerospace leaders such as Boeing, de Havilland and Rolls Royce.

Others claimed that many Bombardier employees were burning out, with one man saying there were 11 suicides last year at his St-Laurent plant alone.

A strike would halt production on the company's regional jets as well as the Challenger business jet.

Several hundred workers staged spontaneous walkouts on Thursday after getting details of the company's latest contract offer.

Union members earn an average of $21.50 an hour.

Bombardier had offered a salary increase of 3.25 per cent in each year of a four-year contract plus a $1,000 signing bonus.

The union had been seeking five per cent in each year of a three-year contract and an earlier retirement age to 58 instead of 60, without penalty.

Quebec's Bombardier Aerospace employees have been on a work slowdown since their collective bargaining agreement ran out last Dec. 1.

Bombardier Aerospace, a unit of Bombardier Inc., is the world's third-largest civil aircraft maker.

Bombardier's shares (TSE:BBD.B) on the Toronto stock market cosed Friday up 60 cents at $14.70.
 

Le Pilote

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Think this might affect Comair and ASA's slotted deliveries?
 

Flying Illini

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why the H-E-double hockey sticks was a thread from 2002 just resurrected?!
 

RJ Bum

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Le Pilote said:
Think this might affect Comair and ASA's slotted deliveries?

Comair doesn't have any slotted deliveries at this time. The only RJs coming are former Indy RJs.
 
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