THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Workers at Bombardier, on strike
for six weeks today, held an energetic rally in Thunder Bay today, one
day ahead of a forced last offer vote.
"We are here to make a statement on the importance of good jobs to
Thunder Bay," Unifor National President Jerry Dias told the crown
outside Thunder Bay city hall.
"Good jobs support families, communities and pay good taxes to the
federal and provincial governments that support social programs."
The rally took place the day before a "last offer vote" ordered by the
Ministry of Labour after an application from Bombardier. The company is
allowed to make one such application during each round of bargaining.
It forces the workers to vote on the company's offer.
Members of Unifor Local 1075 have been on strike at Bombardier since
July 14 in the face of company demands for deep concessions. 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," he said.
The offer to be voted on Tuesday contains cuts to 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 May 31, 2014.
As well, those hired after December 31, 2010, would receive no retiree
benefits, and would get a one-time payment of $350. That concession
would hit almost 500 workers at the 900-worker plant.
"We are standing up for the future of Thunder Bay, our local and
provincial politicians should be standing with us," Dias said.
"The union brought these jobs to Thunder Bay. We need our local
provincial politicians to commit to not just Buy Ontario policies, but
to expanding them."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when
the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers union merged.
For further information:
Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.