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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Bart Copeland, Andreas Grabner, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White

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Bombardier workers stand up for good jobs

THUNDER BAY, ON, Aug. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Bombardier workers in Thunder Bay have stood up for good jobs in Ontario and a secure future for their community by soundly rejecting a last offer from the company in a vote supervised by the Ministry of Labour today.

"These workers have shown incredible resolve and determination in their struggle to maintain good jobs for today and for future generations," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said.

"These results send a clear message to Bombardier that the membership of this union supports its bargaining team, which has consistently told the company that it cannot accept the demanded concessions."

Members of Unifor Local 1075, on strike since July 14 in the face of company demands for concessions that would have hit all workers and retirees enrolled in the company's benefit plan, have rejected the company's last offer by a vote of 80 per cent.

The vote held today was ordered by the Ministry of Labour after an application from Bombardier. The company is allowed to make one such application during each round of bargaining.

The current defined benefit pension plan would have been denied to new hires, and 500 members at the plant would have been denied their right to retirement benefits. In addition, if accepted, the offer would have meant the outsourcing of several jobs at the plant.

Dias called for Bombardier to listen to the very clear message sent with today's vote, and return to the bargaining table to work out an acceptable collective agreement.

The workers at Bombardier build the new subway and streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission, as well as cars for the GO train commuter train service. The plant got the TTC contract under a Buy Ontario policy that the union helped secure.

Unifor Local President Dominic Pasqualino said he is proud that workers at the plant resisted intense company pressure and scare tactics.

"Bombardier has tried to divide us, but all it has done it to make us stronger in our determination to stand up for good jobs in our community," Pasqualino said.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.

SOURCE Unifor

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