Bombardier union worried about La Pocatière plant
The union representing Bombardier's transport workers says it's worried about the future of its La Pocatière plant.
Workers at the railway manufacturing plant say they found out two weeks ago that dozens of their engineers will be transferred to Montreal.
Union representative Mario Lévesque says the company's announcement is disappointing for both workers and the region. He says two weeks ago Bombardier Transport announced a $10-million investment in its La Pocatière plant to test vehicles for the Montreal Transit Corporation. But Lévesque says the company also announced many of the engineers from that plant will be transferred to Montreal.
Lévesque says if the engineers leave, the plant will also need fewer secretaries and technical support workers. He says the La Pocatière plant has already lost contracts to plants in the United States.
Marc Laforge, a spokesman for Bombardier Transport, says the company has also invested $7 million in a research and development centre in Montreal. Laforge says the company wants to send workers there to increase productivity.
Laforge says he doesn't know how many engineers from La Pocatière will be transferred. He says engineers from other plants in Ontario and New York will also be sent to work in Montreal.
Bombardier says the centre on Montreal's south shore will encourage greater involvement of customers, suppliers and partners in the research and development of new technologies to be used in its manufacturing.
The new centre will be used for designing and building prototypes of passenger rail vehicles that will be manufactured around the continent. Construction will begin at the end of the summer, with the opening slated for next spring.
A consortium led by Bombardier has a contract to build 500 subway cars for the Montreal metro system.
With files from The Canadian Press