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Unifor calls for higher Canadian content in public transportation vehicles

May 4, 2018

TORONTO – Unifor is calling on the Ontario government to increase Canadian content requirements in transit vehicles obtained through public procurement.

“It just makes sense to ensure that the purchase of public transport vehicles is linked to maintaining jobs here in Ontario,” said President of Unifor Local 1075 Dominic Pasqualino, representing 1,100 Bombardier workers in Thunder Bay, Ontario. “We have highly trained, dedicated people producing a good product whose jobs are at risk, while work is contracted out of the province and out of the country.”

Unifor representatives expressed concern about the future of good manufacturing jobs in a meeting with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne this week, as current contracts with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Metrolinx are scheduled to be completed at the Thunder Bay plant by the end of next year.

“Unifor took the message that government policy levers, such as procurement and increased Canadian content, can and should be used to protect and expand good paying jobs in Ontario and prevent outsourcing to low wage jurisdictions,”said Shane Wark, Assistant to the Unifor National President.

Through direct and indirect employment Bombardier accounts for 7.5 per cent of private sector employment in Thunder Bay, with one out of thirteen jobs linked to the plant.  

“As offshore component work has returned to Thunder Bay, both quality and delivery has been significantly improved, especially on the TTC streetcar order,” said Pasqualino. “We are asking the government to take the necessary steps to protect both the quality of the vehicles that it purchases and the communities that depend on their production.”

For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O’Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org  or 416-896-3303 (cell).