Turbulence hits union contract negotiations with Bombardier and Airbus

MONTREAL — Negotiations appear to have hit some turbulence in efforts to renew a contract between unionized employees and the Bombardier and Airbus-controlled limited partnership that is assembling the A220.

An internal newsletter from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that’s been viewed by The Canadian Press says the employer offer presented earlier this week was “light years away” from union expectations.

According to the union, the proposal includes the elimination of the defined benefit pension plan, salary increases below the cost of living and the splitting of union certification.

This negotiation is different from the last because talks are with Bombardier and the European giant at the same time because of the agreement signed a little over a year ago for control of the aircraft formerly called the C Series.

In addition to some 1,000 workers assembling the A220, negotiations involve more than 3,000 Bombardier workers assigned to the CRJ aircraft program in Mirabel and others in the Montreal area.

Airbus and Bombardier declined to comment on the state of talks but Bombardier spokesman Olivier Marcil said difficult negotiations to renew a labour contract is common and not just in the aerospace business.

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