Bombardier and union reach deal at Ontario rail plant

Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:09pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Thursday it has reached a tentative agreement with 700 striking workers at a plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario, that is building new subway cars for Toronto.

Shop floor employees represented by the Canadian Auto Workers Local 1075 walked out on Tuesday afternoon after contract talks broke down over proposed pension cuts.

"We will go ahead and see what the membership says, but as far as there have been significant changes on it since the strike, and that's why we have a tentative agreement," Local 1075 President Dominic Pasqualino said in a telephone interview.

Pasqualino said members will vote on the agreement on Saturday. If they approve it, they will return to work Monday.

A Bombardier spokesman said the two sides were still discussing that point, and the company hopes work can resume as soon as possible.

The company's operations in Thunder Bay, on the shore of Lake Superior in northwestern Ontario, produce bi-level rail cars, as well as streetcars and subway cars.

The plant is building new subway cars for Toronto's transit system. The plant also manufactures the double-decker commuter trains used by Toronto region's GO Transit. In March, Bombardier announced a C$125 million order for 50 rail cars for that system.

(Reporting by Allison Martell)