Bombardier bilevel

A bilevel Metrolinx rail car for the Greater Toronto Area is worked on during a Nov. 2 open house at the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay.

The good times at Thunder Bay’s Bombardier light-rail factory may one day return, but workers being let go this month and next will likely have to look for other jobs for the foreseeable future, their union says.

“I’m sure Bombardier wants to keep (the Thunder Bay operation) going — they’ve been making so much money,” Unifor Local 1075 president Dominic Pasqualino said Friday.

“We’ve been so productive lately, I’m sure they want it to survive.”

As expected, the first 150 to 200 workers were told on Friday they were being laid off indefinitely due to reduced orders at the Montreal Street facility. By the end of this year, up to 450 will likely have been let go, significantly reducing the factory’s workforce to about 300.

Pasqualino said those who remain could be facing a similar situation around this time next year if the company doesn’t soon start securing fresh orders.

Over the last few years, the workforce has been in the range of about 1,000, mainly due to orders of hundreds of bilevel cars for Go Transit and streetcars for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).


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