lay offs at bombardier

Layoffs at Bombardier



Plan B aerospace do for a living
avoid productive keep in the dark
memo internal explanation
routine top brass count on someone
tough decision go into detail
midst lean (2) reassurance
cut (2) transform turnaround (2)
way (2) productive installment
affect believe (2) position (2)
worry association uncertainty
effect wonder competitive
federal profitable provincial (2)
liberal pour (2) our hearts go out
chance period (2) restructure (2)
impact brass (2) down the road
prop up taxpayer implication
loan interest (2) interest-free
out of a job investment






Sylvain Roy, Bombardier Aerospace Employee: “I don’t have a Plan B. I’ve been here all my life. That’s what I do for a living.”

The news came as a surprise to these Montreal employees.

News Reporter: “Would you like to talk to us about the cuts today?”

Most avoided questions from the media and those who did speak said they’re being kept in the dark: no internal memos, no explanations beyond what they see in the news.

Cuts at the aerospace giant have become routine for long time employees.

Sylvain Roy, Bombardier Aerospace Employee: “Oh my god, I cannot count them anymore.

It’s sad.

Personally, I’ve never been laid off . . . but it’s not the story for everybody.”

Top brass says it was a tough decision, but a necessary one to make the company leaner and more profitable.

Oliver Mercil, Vice-President, Bombardier: We’re in the mists of a turnaround plan, a five-year turnaround plan. And part of that, we have to transform the way we are doing things. We have to become more productive.”

Five-thousand job cuts doesn’t mean all those workers will be out of a job. Some might find other positions within the company. Still until Bombardier explains who will be affected and when exactly, workers are living in uncertainty.

Dave Chartrand, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: “None of them know if they’re affected or not. So now you’ve this feeling inside the plants of worry, everybody wondering. They’re talking about doing it over the next period, in the next eighteen months.

People are wondering: is it going to be before Christmas? Am I going to be affected?

Scott Mcilmoyle, Unifor Local 112: “It’s a dark day. And there’re a lot of people can’t believe it. The Dash 8 that has been built here since the early 80s is going to be leaving.”

Both Provincial and Federal governments are offering their reassurances.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister, Liberal: “Mr. Speaker, our hearts go out to the workers, their families, communities impacted.

Chances are good this isn’t the last time we’ll hear about job cuts at Bombardier. Company executives say that there’s still more need for restructuring, if they want to remain competitive in the industry.

But they won’t go into details about what that actually means for their employees down the road.


.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


And today’s news has implications beyond just Quebec and Ontario. That’s because for decades, both the provincial and federal governments have poured in billions of taxpayer dollars to prop the company up:

Ottawa gave more than three-hundred million ($300 million) in interest-free loans to the company last year, and the year before that, Bombardier got the last installment of a $1.3 billion investment from Quebec.


*     *     *     *     *     *     *



1. If the Bombardier employees get laid off, they can easily find another job. Is this entirely true, largely true, partially true, in the middle, yes and no, mostly false or completely false?

2. Were the employees eager and willing to speak to the news media? Why were they generally reluctant to speak on camera?

3. The employees know exactly what is going on in Bombardier because management closely communicates with them on these issues. Is this right or wrong? What is the primary source of information?

4. Is this the first time Bombardier has laid off its employees?

5. The company says it is cutting jobs and positions because they don’t like the workers. Is this correct or incorrect? What did the VP say?

6. Did the union leader complain and criticize the decision to lay off company employees?

7. When the Canadian Prime Minister gave his condolences to those who may be laid off, was there silence in the parliament?

8. Has Bombardier also been competitive and strong?


A. Why has Bombardier decided to cut positions in its company? What might be some reasons? Does everyone agree why they want to cut jobs?

B. What could or should the laid off workers do?

C. Should the Canadian federal and provincial governments have done anything? Should they do anything now or in the future?

D. Is there job “security”, job “uncertainty”, both, neither? Has it been changing over the years?

E. What will happen in the future?

F. What can or should ordinary people do?

Comments are closed.