Bombardier Recalls Workers, Staffs Up For Production at Thunder Bay

tbnewswatch reports that Bombardier has recalled all employees temporarily laid off earlier in 2015 (more than 80), and hired 50 additional to work on its Light Rail Vehicle and Bi-Level car production. Both of these have been delayed with supply-chain woes.

I look forward to an updated delivery schedule for the TTC’s Flexitys, and will report on this as soon as news is available.

6 thoughts on “Bombardier Recalls Workers, Staffs Up For Production at Thunder Bay

  1. Why don’t we import from China? Will it not be much cheaper to do so? Also we can build 5 times as much transit (including subways) with the same amounts of funds if we could ask Chinese companies to build the same. The Chinese already built the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways and we might as well ask them to build our subways at a much cheaper price than we are now paying.

    Steve: The last time I heard any election promises, they did not include outsourcing jobs to China. When your job becomes redundant because you are replaced by an overseas worker, I hope you will remember your advice on how governments should spend our tax dollars.


  2. Actually if we finance transit through the AIIB, it will be Chinese companies doing most of the work. Yes, it will be cheaper. Looking at projects in Gambia, Kenya and Rhodesia, Chinese companies can easily undercut developed world companies by 50% and still offer financing. They even bring in Chinese guest workers to do the work and not use the locals.

    All levels of governments should now make a large order at Bombardier. Their Aerospace division is really hurting right now. The CSeries program originally should have cost $2.3 Billion. Now it is likely to cost $5 billion. If it succeeds, it will keep manufacturing jobs in Canada for the next 20 years. They are really betting the farm on it. If they have a larger backlog in the Transportation division, they can funnel more cash to the Aerospace division.

    The end of Corolla production at the Toyota plant in Cambridge is a blow to Ontario manufacturing. No matter what new models Toyota decides to build there, it will never be the 400000 units production annually. This means fewer shift. Before, there might be three shifts making Corollas. Now, it might be two shifts making Toyota Highlander and perhaps the Lexus RX300. Either way, fewer people would be employed.

    Mario Draghi already pledge to do “whatever it takes” to save the Euro. We should likewise protect our industries by doing it whatever it takes.


  3. @Benny Cheung

    It’s good that car production is declining in Ontario. Cars are not good for health, not good for the environment, not good for safety (too many reckless drivers), etc and not just that but cars are also responsible for the gridlock that wastes our life/time. What I would like to see is more bus, streetcar, and train production and less car production.


  4. Pity Bombardier is such a mess. They’re now cannibalizing the Transportation division profits to prop up the Aerospace division; a terrible idea.


  5. I hear 4407 is undergoing tests, so it should be in service shortly. Any word on where 4408 is? It sounded like Bombardier promised to have both these cars in Toronto by the end of April, but it looks like the schedule slipped again.

    To be fair, 4407 did arrive in Toronto bearing a nasty graffiti tag…

    Steve: 4407 left Thunder Bay on April 20. No word on 4408 or a more aggressive delivery schedule. I will ask … again.


  6. Didn’t Andy Byford recently confirm that the TTC was finding new vehicles from Bombardier’s Thunder Bay plant just weren’t measuring up to standard? Didn’t we subsequently learn that Bombardier Thunder Bay was in turn blaming Bombardier plants in Mexico for delivering parts for the vehicles basic chassis that fell below spec, and either couldn’t be bolted together at all, or could be bolted together, but only after additional individually tuned machining and forming in Thunder Bay that was inconsistent with the principle of assembly line manufacturing?

    If I read this properly, it is not only very concerning, it is sad. Amanda Lang was interviewing some expert, tonight, on the (inevitable(?)) failure of Canada’s biggest companies — like Research In Motion (RIM, manufacturer of the Blackberry), and Nortel. They didn’t mention Bombardier. But if it too expanded too large, and acquired non-competitive foreign competitors, it too might be headed to the ash-heap.

    At this rate there is no way Bombardier will meet the new delivery schedule of delivering dozens of new Flexity vehicles by 2015-12-31.

    I think we have to anticipate that, unless Bombardier takes drastic steps, chassis for MetroLinx’s Flexity Freedom vehicles will have the same problems as the TTC’s Flexity Outlook vehicles.

    Steve: According to the CEO’s report in this week’s TTC agenda, deliveries are supposed to ramp up to one every five days by July.

    Further to the points made in my last CEO Report, we continue to hold Bombardier to delivery of their revised production schedule. This commits Bombardier to a progressive ramp up in delivery to a rate of a new vehicle
    every five (5) days by the end of July, such that, by year end, a total of 30 vehicles will be on property, sufficient to convert the 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina, and 511 Bathurst routes.

    While it is disappointing that roll-out of new vehicles has been so slow, it made no sense to accept sub-optimal vehicles that would prove unreliable. Long hours of discussions with Bombardier at all levels – including CEO to
    CEO – have resulted in changes by the supplier to their personnel and production line and I am cautiously optimistic that Bombardier has now turned the corner.

    We should know soon whether they will actually achieve this feat.


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