Bombardier Lays Off Several Montreal Employees As Part Of 'Workforce Optimization'

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MONTREAL — Bombardier handed out pink slips Friday to aerospace employees in Montreal as part of its efforts announced in February to trim 7,000 workers over two years.

Bombardier factory in La Pocatiere, Que., on Aug. 23, 2016. (Photo: Lars Hagberg/The Canadian Press)

The Montreal-based company declined to say how many workers were being affected by the latest layoff notices, how many cuts have already been made, or what aircraft programs are being affected.

Mark Masluch, spokesman for Bombardier business jets, said the layoffs are a continuation of the "workforce optimization" plan being implemented across the company.

Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has said that up to 2,000 of the cuts, mainly in Canada and Europe, will be contractors.

Masluch said the company has taken time to ensure it can meet commitments to customers, and to evaluate how many of the job cuts can be mitigated by retirements or other efforts.

bombardier logo
The logo of Bombardier Inc. sits on display at the Paris Air Show, June 22, 2011. (Photo: Fabrice Dimier/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The union representing machinists said the uncertainty about efforts to save jobs is creating frustration for workers. It warned last October that 10,000 Quebec aerospace jobs are at risk.

Union representative David Chartrand said that despite handing over US$1 billion, the province didn't seek any guarantees to protect existing workers, while Ottawa helped Air Canada by removing measures to protect Quebec maintenance jobs.

The layoffs come as Bombardier continues to press Ottawa for US$1 billion in funding.

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