June 25, 2018 / 1:02 AM / 3 months ago

Bombardier, Toronto union reach new agreement, averting strike

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc and its Canadian workers who assemble turboprops and the company’s new top-of-the-line business jet have reached a new labor agreement, averting a potential strike, the company said on Sunday.

FILE PHOTO: A Bombardier logo is pictured during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) at Geneva Airport, Switzerland May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Bombardier and Unifor, the union representing more than 2,100 production and office workers, had reached a tentative deal just hours the strike deadline on Saturday. The union members ratified the agreement on Sunday, Bombardier said in a statement.

Unifor had previously said its members were looking for a three-year contract with greater job security on the company’s strong-selling Global 7500 business jet, among other demands.

The long-range jet, which is to enter service this year, is a critical part of Bombardier’s strategy to grow business aircraft revenues to $8.5 billion in 2020, up from $5 billion in 2017.

“The agreements we have reached are good for our employees as well as the future of aerospace manufacturing in Ontario,” said Graham Kelly, vice president, Global Operations and Toronto Site.

Union workers at Bombardier’s Downsview plant in Canada’s largest city Toronto assemble several large-cabin business jets, along with the Q400 turboprops.

The union talks follow Bombardier’s May announcement that it had agreed to sell the sprawling Downsview site, the company’s largest land asset, to a Canadian pension fund for about $635 million.

Bombardier will continue to operate from Downsview for a period of up to three years, with two optional one-year extension periods.

Reporting by Denny Thomas; Editing by Richard Chang

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