Bombardier strikers 'going to follow the rules or go to jail'

Bombardier Transportation goes to court tomorrow looking for an injunction to enforce rules for picketing outside the plant.

Thunder Bay light rail manufacturer looking for picket line injunction to enforce rules of conduct

A union official says he expects an injunction will be issued by a Thunder Bay judge tomorrow, and that he hopes the rules are clear on what is allowed to happen on the picket line. There are about 900 members on strike. (Josh Lynn/CBC)

Bombardier Transportation goes to court tomorrow looking for an injunction to enforce rules for picketing outside the plant.

Company spokesperson Stephanie Ash said members of the striking union are not abiding by the agreement the parties reached last week.

“We have an agreement with Unifor in the strike protocol that there would be a maximum 25-minute wait time,” she said.

“That has not been respected. And again, it's not just one incident. It's been multiple incidents on a daily basis. So it's very clear that Unifor has no intention of respecting the strike protocol agreement.”

Union local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said that, up until yesterday, there have been some holdups on the picketline for Bombardier executive Aaron Rivers.  He said some union members also had concerns about a parts truck going into the plant. "Everybody else has been having the wait time that we agreed to."

“And I think, if anything else, it was a matter of frustration, and the feeling that they are trying to build these cars without settling the agreement,” the union leader said.

Pasqualino said he expects an injunction will be issued, and that he hopes the rules are clear for his 900 members on what is allowed to happen on the picket line.

“Whatever the injunction is, then I think it will be clearer to the members that these are the rules, and hopefully they are nice and clear on what's allowed and what's not allowed,” he said.

“At that point we are going to either follow the rules or we'll be going to jail.”

Ash noted the injunction “gives more of an ability for the police and authorities to enforce the protocol.”

“We're really disappointed that we're at this point today,” she said.

“We were very happy, as you know, last week, that we had come to this joint agreement.”

Pasqualino said what's more important than the injunction is ending the strike with a new collective agreement, but Bombardier does not seem interested.

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