TORONTO — Bombardier Aerospace and its union have agreed on a plan for cutting 200 positions at the company's Q400 manufacturing operation in Toronto so some work can be outsourced to other countries.
Some of the Bombardier employees currently in those positions will be offered training and transfer opportunities within the company. Others will be offered retirement packages under the agreement with Unifor.
A Bombardier spokeswoman says the agreement is part of a five-year plan, announced in November, to make the company's products more profitable and competitive in the long term.
A Bombardier Q400 operated by Air Canada is seen at Toronto's island airport, April 29, 2011. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Bombardier plans to make the Q400 wings in Mexico and cockpits in China, for final assembly in Toronto.
The Toronto operation currently has about 3,500 employees — including 1,400 working on the Q400, a turboprop used by commercial airlines around the world. Toronto-based Porter Airlines and WestJet's Encore service are among the Q400's customers.
Besides the Q400s, Bombardier does final assembly of the Global Express 5000 and 6000 business jets in Toronto. The Downsview plant is also scheduled to work on the longer-range 7000 and 8000 Global Express jets.
Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera said it's too soon to say how many of the Q400 positions will be eliminated through retirements and how many will be dealt with through retraining and other mitigation measures.
"We can't speculate until we've done the exercise with the union," de la Barrera said Monday.
Scott McIlmoyle, president of Unifor local 112, was unavailable for comment.