Bombardier meets with its unions as U.S. Commerce Department decision looms

Bombardier sign in front of their headquarters in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Mario Beauregard

A meeting between Bombardier management and union leaders is taking place today with the U.S. Commerce Department’s proposed 300 per cent duty on all imports of its C Series planes on the menu.

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The meeting with Canadian and Northern Ireland union representatives and Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) president Alain Bellemare is being held in downtown Montreal.

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Unifor president Jerry Dias, Unifor’s Quebec director Renaud Gagne and Steve Turner, assistant secretary general of Unite, representing workers in Northern Ireland, are attending.

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The unions from both sides of the Atlantic are meeting to come up with a common strategy to protect jobs as the U.S. is to decide next week whether the 300 per cent duty will come into effect.

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The U.S. government intervened after a trade complaint against Bombardier was launched by rival U.S.-based aerospace giant Boeing.

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Boeing was set to sell 18 of its Super Hornet fighters at an estimated cost of $6 billion to temporarily augment Canada’s fleet of aging CF-18s until they can be replaced.

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In the aftermath of the dispute with Montreal-based Bombardier, Ottawa abandoned that plan and announced this week its intention to purchase used F-18s from Australia.

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