Thunder Bay Bombardier plant still expecting 2nd TTC assembly line in wake of job cuts
Company says Friday's announcement not affecting previous committments to ramp up light rail production
Union officials at Thunder Bay's Bombardier plant say they're not expecting the local shop to be affected by the company's announced job cuts
Layoffs are underway at the plant in Thunder Bay, said Dominic Pasqualino, the local president for Unifor 1075, but they were already expected, and are tied to the winding down of the Rocket Subway car contract Bombardier has with the Toronto Transit Commission.
Most of those workers are still slated to be called back early in 2017 for work on other projects, he added.
"In the early of next year, we were going to increase the production of both the LRV streetcar contract and also the bi-level cars," he said of two other contracts that the local plant is involved with.
"So I suspect that most of those people will be called back in early 2017 and we'll be at ... the same rate of workers as we have here now early in the next year."
Second assembly line still coming to Thunder Bay: Bombardier
In an e-mail to CBC News, Bombardier spokesperson Marc-André Lefebvre confirmed that Friday's job cutting announcement is independent of the company's already-announced revision of its delivery schedule for the Toronto streetcars.
Lefebvre said that a second assembly line will still be added in Thunder Bay in early 2017 specifically for the TTC contract, in addition to continuing production in La Pocatière, Que, and expanding operations in Kingston, Ont. for its Metrolinx project.
"We've assured all of our customers that throughout these actions, [Bombardier] will still have all of the human and material resources to honour its commitments," he said.
"To that effect, we will be strategically hiring employees in some of our sites as we ramp-up manufacturing activities on some projects."
In Thunder Bay, Pasqualino noted that there's still plenty of work to do at the plant.
"The bi-level cars, it looks like there's more and more orders for that," he said.
"So we have our obligations to fill and I think the only way we can do it, is with a full staff here."