Thunder Bay

Sault Ste. Marie seeking laid-off Thunder Bay Bombardier workers

The city recently took out online advertising directing them to a municipal recruiting website, according to Tom Vair, the deputy chief administrative officer of community development and enterprise services for Sault Ste. Marie.

Companies such as Algoma Steel need labourers and tradespeople, spokesperson says

Municipal officials in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., are advertising to Thunder Bay Bombardier workers who are, or will be, laid off. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

A spokesperson for the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., says it has reached out to Bombardier workers who are facing layoffs this fall to invite them to apply for jobs in the city.

City administrators recently took out online advertising targeting Thunder Bay workers and directing them to a recruiting web site, according to Tom Vair, the deputy chief administrative officer of community development and enterprise services for Sault Ste. Marie.

"We have manufacturing positions at Algoma Steel, we have higher-end finance and IT jobs at a number of employers, including Ontario Lottery and Gaming, and a number of our smaller companies are in hiring mode as well," Vair told CBC News. "So there was over 130 jobs available on our web site when we launched it, and employers are adding new jobs as they come up."

Some of those employers are looking for labourers and tradespeople such as those who currently work for Bombardier, he said.

The city recognizes that the Bombardier situation is fluid, and it wants to be sensitive to people's situations, Vair said, but it also wants to let workers know that there are opportunities in the city if they're looking for work.

Sault Ste. Marie has already carried out job fairs in the Greater Toronto Area and is also looking for workers in Oshawa, Vair said. 

Around 550 Bombardier workers are facing layoffs this November. The province announced on Tuesday that Metrolinx has agreed to buy 36 more bi-level cars from Bombardier, which will be manufactured in Thunder Bay.

The president of Unifor Local 1075, the union local representing Bombardier workers in the northwestern Ontario city, said some of them are looking at opportunities such as the ones Vair is promoting.

Some are opting to surrender their recall rights and accept severance packages so that they can pursue positions in cities such as Sault Ste. Marie, Dominic Pasqualino said.

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