THUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association (TBPFFA) Local 193 have presented a $500 cheque to the striking Thunder Bay Unifor Local 1075 workers of Bombardier Transportation to help support their efforts as a labour organization. TBPFFA proudly represents the fire fighters, fire prevention officers, training officers and mechanics of Thunder Bay Fire Rescue. TBPFFA is a member of the OPFFA (Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Association) and a member of the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) – Local 193.
“Our members made this decision as a gesture to demonstrate empathy to those affected by this strike,” said Dennis Brescacin, President – TBPFFA. “These employees are members of the community which our Professional Fire Fighters serve and the work they do is critical to the local economy. They are in a difficult position that is now turning into a long-term event and the Association feels it is the right thing to do to support them through this contribution.”
Both sides in the labour dispute have taken a break from talks. Many now expect the strike to be a long one, and some even fear that Bombardier is making long-term plans to scale back operations in Thunder Bay at its Montreal Avenue manufacturing facility.
A spokesperson for Bombardier states, “I would suggest that there is a lot of speculation and misinformation circulating in the community about Bombardier Transportation. The focus right now is to reach a new collective agreement with Unifor; one that ensures good jobs and that the Thunder Bay plant can stay cost competitive into the future.”
Right now the employment at the plant is at about 1000 workers. Currently the plant is surrounded by fences, and talks are off again.
During a rally at Thunder Bay City Hall, the Unifor National President stated that “No one walks away from the skilled workforce we have in Thunder Bay”.What perhaps is needed right now is for both sides to walk back to the table and get talking?