Bombardier, Toronto union reach new agreement, averting strike

A proposed strike at Bombardier has not come to fruition. (Reuters pic)

TORONTO: Bombardier Inc and its Canadian workers who assemble turboprops and the company’s new top-of-the-line business jet have reached a new labour agreement, averting a potential strike, the company said on Sunday.

Bombardier and Unifor, the union representing more than 2,100 production and office workers, had reached a tentative deal just hours the strike deadline on Saturday. The union members ratified the agreement on Sunday, Bombardier said in a statement.

Unifor had previously said its members were looking for a three-year contract with greater job security on the company’s strong-selling Global 7500 business jet, among other demands.

The long-range jet, which is to enter service this year, is a critical part of Bombardier’s strategy to grow business aircraft revenues to US$8.5 billion (RM34.1 billion) in 2020, up from US$5 billion (RM20 billion) in 2017.

“The agreements we have reached are good for our employees as well as the future of aerospace manufacturing in Ontario,” said Graham Kelly, vice president, Global Operations and Toronto Site.

Union workers at Bombardier’s Downsview plant in Canada’s largest city Toronto assemble several large-cabin business jets, along with the Q400 turboprops.

The union talks follow Bombardier’s May announcement that it had agreed to sell the sprawling Downsview site, the company’s largest land asset, to a Canadian pension fund for about US$635 million (RM2.55 billion).

Bombardier will continue to operate from Downsview for a period of up to three years, with two optional one-year extension periods.