Monday, July 15, 2024

Collective agreement negotiations get tough at Bombardier

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Negotiations over the renewal of the collective agreement in Bombardier are becoming increasingly difficult. The union asks management to give it its “best offer” so that it can present it 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 the negotiating committee will, on Thursday, ask the Bombardier administration to make a global offer of wages, since the main disagreement between the two parties on the matter remains.

The two sides have been discussing salaries since February 3rd. 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.

She claims that Bombardier’s management rejected “virtually all of the union’s demands regarding wage clauses” – hence the current controversy.

The internal letter specifies that during the consultation, union members announced that they had previously rejected any idea of ​​backing down, and that on the contrary they wanted higher wages, better working hours, better job guarantees and pensions. indexing.

Therefore, IAMAW will ask management to make its “best offer”, which it will present to its members in the following days. 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 that it would be a good way to gauge the respect the company gives us,” write the union president, Christian Bertrand, and business agent Eric Rancourt who signed the letter to the members.

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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 “rumour”.

“It is surprising that we have not made an offer yet,” he said on the sidelines of a speech before the Council on International Relations in Montreal.

Mr. Martel said he does not intend to negotiate in the public arena, but that the business owner intends 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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