Unifor and Bombardier impose a news blackout during new talks
Unifor says workers more "optimistic" now about prospects for a deal
Talks between Bombardier Transportation and the union representing the striking workers are scheduled to resume next Tuesday, under a self-imposed news blackout.
Late Friday afternoon, a spokesperson for Bombardier confirmed what Unifor officials had revealed earlier in the day..
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Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said the workers now have reason to feel more positive.
“Well I think that they are going to be optimistic about getting a settlement,” Pasqualino said. “I think that the company is more serious about dealing with them now that they realize the members are behind the leadership.”
Local 1075 said its members, who have been on strike since July 14, turned down the company's last offer by a vote of 81 per cent.
The vote held last Tuesday was ordered by the Ontario Ministry of Labour after an application from Bombardier.
Changes to the pension plan for new hires is a key issue in dispute.
Pasqualino said he hopes a settlement of the dispute will come pretty quickly once talks get underway.
Bombardier spokesperson Stephanie Ash told CBC News that "both parties acknowledge that everybody wants to come back to work as soon as possible."
Ash said the two sides have agreed not to speak to the news media about the progress of negotiations as long as they are still talking.
The strike enters its seventh week on Monday.
In a related development Friday, Bombardier gave layoff notices to nearly 150 members of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union who are still working in the Thunder Bay plant. A union spokesperson told CBC the company is required to give two weeks' notice.
Ash said details on how many workers will have to be laid off will be announced early next week.