Brief Strike At Bombardier Bizjet Plant Ends


A brief strike by unionized workers who build Bombardier business jets in Canada ended Saturday when the 1500 members of Unifor voted to ratify a new three-year agreement. The deal included wage increases and increased pension benefits. The strike started at Bombardier’s Downsview plant in Toronto earlier last week. That factory builds the company’s new flagship Global 7500, a key revenue producer for the company. It is not known when production will resume.

Meanwhile, members of the same union who work next door at De Havilland Canada’s Dash-8 Q400 regional airliner remain on strike. There are 700 workers on strike against De Havilland, whose parent company Longview Aviation Investments bought the business from Bombardier three years ago. In addition to wage and benefits demands, the future of the business itself is at issue. De Havilland has said it will stop building Q400s when its current orders are filled and that it will end production at Downsview when its lease expires by 2023. De Havilland has already begun decommissioning the factory.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Elsewhere I read that a big part of the union’s fight with deHC/Longview is where production would start again if it ever does.

    Longview has Viking Air facilities in Calgary where Twin Otters are assembled and CL415s are upgraded, and flight training is done. And parts fabrication in Sydney BC, which is more attractive to old easterners than Cowtown. (I say Calgary is a fine place, if I were younger I’d move there, good business climate, outdoor recreation in the foothills and mountains to the west including skiing. Same variability in politicians as anywhere I guess.)

    Longview would like low sustaining cost I bet, until it can ramp up production of Dash8s, new CL415s (to be called CL515), and new Buffalos. Many dreams but need to keep the lights on for a while. But moving away from Traanah and Quebec dHC would lose much expertise. (Some workers might go to Airbus, Bombardier, and Mitsubishi plants in Quebec, but that fiefdom discriminates against Anglos.)

    Downsview is probably still a very old plant, Bombardier got real estate money out of it.

    It would be a shame for dash8s to go out of production, I think much need for high performance commuter airliners and frontier servers (which the earlier -100/200/300 were). I understand that the dash8 has good runway performance though not STOL. Longview’s other products are utility, it has special missions versions, the dash8 would also suit that I presume.