Bombardier labor talks extend past deadline

Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:28am EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Negotiations to avert a strike by about 2,750 workers at Bombardier's de Havilland aircraft plant in Toronto continued past the deadline set by the Canadian Auto Workers, the union said on Tuesday.

The company and the union talked through the night and beyond the 10 a.m. deadline, the CAW said.

"Hopefully we can get this thing done, but it's too early to tell," said Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW National President Ken Lewenza.

The main issues preventing a deal involve retiree benefits and the use of temporary workers.

Bombardier assembles its popular Q400 turboprop aircraft at the plant, as well as the Global Express corporate jet and the wings for the Lear 45 corporate jet.

The company has been hit by a decline in business jet orders, as well as deferrals and cancellations, but it anticipates a 10 percent increase in commercial aircraft deliveries this year.

John Arnone, a Bombardier spokesman, said there was a backlog of 102 Q400 aircraft to be delivered to customers as of the end of April.

Shares of Bombardier were down 6 Canadian cents at C$3.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning.

($1=$1.16 Canadian)

(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)