Bombardier Union Sets July 14 Strike Date at Rail Plant

Unionized Bombardier Inc. employees at a rail plant in Ontario threatened to walk off the job in four days if a new labor contract hasn’t been reached by then.

Unifor, the union that represents about 1,000 workers at the Thunder Bay factory, set a 2 p.m. strike deadline for July 14, Local 1075 President Dominic Pasqualino said today in a telephone interview. The parties disagree over pensions and benefits, he said.

The company is seeking an agreement with Unifor “that will be in the best interest of both parties,” Marc-Andre Lefebvre, a spokesman for Montreal-based Bombardier, said in a telephone interview. Negotiations continue, he said, declining to elaborate on the nature of the talks. The plant builds subway cars and streetcars for Toronto, Canada’s most populous city, as well as commuter trains for the Toronto metro area.

Union negotiators are “very concerned because there are a multitude of concessions on the table, and we need those concessions removed,” Pasqualino said.

Bombardier is “determined to find a solution that preserves our competitiveness in the market and allows us to meet our commitments to our customers,” Lefebvre said. He declined to say how a strike would affect output at the plant, which has about 1,350 employees, including nonunion staff.

Unifor workers at Thunder Bay have been without a contract since May 31, Pasqualino said.

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