Collective agreement: negotiations are getting tougher in Bombardier

Leah Levesque and Stephane Rolland, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL – Negotiations over the renewal of the collective agreement in Bombardier are becoming increasingly difficult. The union asks the management to make its “best cash offer” for it to present to its members, in order to send a clear message to the employer.

In a letter to its members stating that The Canadian Press was able to consult, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) informed them that on Thursday, the negotiating committee will ask Bombardier’s management to submit a global offer of wages, since a major specialty. There is still disagreement between the two parties on this issue.

The parties have been discussing wages since February 3. Standard items have been settled. Already, 20 negotiating sessions for the renewal of the collective agreement have been held. But negotiations are no longer progressing on wages.

IAMAW, an affiliate of the FTQ, tells its members that the administration is asking for “significant setbacks” equal to “several million dollars over three years” that will affect the roughly 1,800 active members of the union.

It claims that the Bombardier administration has rejected “virtually all the demands of the unions regarding wage clauses” – hence the current controversy.

The internal letter specifies that during the consultations, union members made it clear that they had previously rejected any idea of ​​a backslide, and that on the contrary they wanted higher wages, better working hours, better guarantees of employment and restriction. of pensions.

Therefore, IAMAW will ask management to make its “best cash offer”, which it will present to its members in the following days.

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We ask him to make what he considers his best cash offer. He told us that this offer would not be negotiated between the parties, but it would be a good way to gauge the respect the company gives us,” the union’s president, Christian Bertrand, and business agent Eric Rancourt who signed the letter to the members wrote.

“No show yet,” says Bombardier.

When asked about the matter, Eric Martel, President and CEO of Bombardier, said he was surprised by the union party’s comments. He described the union’s claim that the company demanded the return of “millions of dollars” as a “rumour”. “It’s surprising that we haven’t made an offer yet,” he replied on the sidelines of a speech before the Council on International Relations in Montreal (CORIM).

Mr. Martel said he had no intention of negotiating in the public arena, but that his employer had intended to do “the right thing”. “We shouldn’t speculate too much, too much, on what our show will look like. It’s not on the table yet. It will probably be in the next few days.”

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