TORONTO - Bombardier’s announcement to lay off as much as half of the workforce at its Thunder Bay plant creates unneeded uncertainty for workers.
“The workers at the Bombardier plant are the heart and soul of the Thunder Bay community,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “I am urging all levels of government to step up and make adequate investments in transit.”
Bombardier plans to lay off workers because it has yet to secure new contracts from neither the Ontario Government or the City of Toronto. The company has contracts with Metrolinx for GO Train cars and the Toronto Transit Commission streetcars that are set to expire later this year.
“Any GTA transit rider will tell you, increasing TTC streetcars and Go Trains is a dire need for Toronto’s transit system. Also, a lack of investment would hurt Thunder Bay. The plant is the largest private sector employer in the city, and a lack of work would force highly skilled workers to find job elsewhere,” said Dias.
This past April, the Ontario Government unveiled a $28-billion Toronto transit expansion plan that would include new orders for 36 new Go Trains and 60 additional TTC streetcars. Negotiations between Bombardier and the province are ongoing.
“This is a lose-lose situation for everyone. Governments need to realize this and make immediate investments into transit,” said Dias.
Unifor will soon be meeting with members to discuss the union’s plan to save jobs at the plant.