THUNDER BAY / TORONTO – Unifor delivered a strong deputation to the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee to warn that excessive delays in the purchase of at least 60 new streetcars are putting the Thunder Bay Bombardier plant where they are manufactured in jeopardy.
“The Ford conservatives are refusing to act while good manufacturing jobs in Northern Ontario are disappearing,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “All levels of government must work together instead of punishing Northern Ontario for decisions made in Toronto.”
The union has been calling on the City of Toronto and the federal and provincial governments to take responsibility for the worst transit congestion in Canada and protect good-paying manufacturing jobs in Ontario by completing the necessary Bombardier streetcar order.
“Jobs are on the line – the Bombardier plant is at risk of closing, there simply isn’t enough work to keep the facility open into 2021,” said Dominic Pasqualino Unifor Local 1075 President. “We can’t wait any longer – trained workers are going to move on and they, and these jobs, will never return.”
The Thunder Bay Bombardier plant is the largest private-sector employer in the region. It has a more than 100-year history of providing good jobs that have enriched the lives of Ontarians through fair wages and supply-chain demand.
“Canadian content in government purchases play an important role in Ontario’s economy,” says Kaylie Tiessen, Economist and Unifor National Research Representative. “Jobs at the Bombardier facility support an additional 1.5 to 2.8 job in Ontario, with many in the greater Toronto area. If the plant closes, it is workers across the province who will bear the burden.”
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) states that new streetcars constitute an urgent and unfunded need in its recent capital budget.
“The city is putting riders and workers through the ultimate stress test,” continued Pasqualino. “If our elected leaders keep shirking responsibility, workers will be out of a job and we’ll have lost one of Canada’s exclusive manufacturers for our city’s streetcars and subway systems.”