Trades workers and assembly line workers at Thunder Bay's Bombardier plant are now on strike.

Just after 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon, Unifor officially confirmed the walkout. CBC Thunder Bay reporter Jeff Walters said employees were starting to leave the plant.

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Unifor national president Jerry Dias (with microphonte) speaks to Bombardier Thunder Bay workers who went on strike Monday afternoon. The president of Unifor Local 1075 Domenic Pasqualino is standing to the left of Dias. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

The workers went on strike at the light rail plant after failing to reach an agreement with management.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias said there was "no meaningful discussion" leading up to the 2 p.m. ET strike deadline today.

Dias said morning meetings with Bombardier related to protocol in case of a dispute, and didn't focus on contract negotiations for the roughly 900 employees.

Bombardier wants to make changes to pensions and benefits that are unacceptable to the employees and are similar to demands that caused a brief strike in 2011, he added.

A Bombardier spokesman said the company is "deeply disappointed" the employees are on strike.

The company is focused on minimizing the potential impact of the labour disruption on its customers, he added.

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About 900 Thunder Bay Bombardier workers walked off the job on Monday afternoon. Its union, Unifor, says the company rejected its latest offer, and has not come back to the bargaining table. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

with files from Canadian Press