Unionized workers at Bombardier and DeHavilland Canada’s plants at Downsview in Toronto have gone on strike. There are 1,500 members of Unifor at the Bombardier plant, which builds Global series business jets, and 700 at De Havilland, which builds Q400 regional airliners. Both were formally owned by Bombardier but a modern version of De Havilland owned by Longview Investments bought all the type certificates for the Dash-8 line a few years ago. Talks are continuing while the strike goes on.
The union leadership says there are a variety of important issues facing the membership, not the least of which is the fact that the plants both have to move soon. Bombardier sold the Downsview site and it will be developed for housing and commercial real estate. The workers also want more money. “Our members do highly technical, intricate, and precise work that supports some of the most advanced manufacturing this country does. These are demanding jobs. Our members work hard and deserve nothing less than an agreement that values their incredible contribution to these companies and respects their hard work,” said Maryellen McIlmoyle, President of Unifor Local 673 which represents technical, office, and professional workers at both companies.