Technology: David Olive: Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing its workforce in Thunder Bay - - PressFrom - Canada
  •   
  •   
  •   

TechnologyDavid Olive: Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing its workforce in Thunder Bay

16:00  11 july  2019
16:00  11 july  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Bombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay, Ont. railway plant

Bombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay, Ont. railway plant Bombardier Inc. is laying off half of the 1,100 workers at its Thunder Bay, Ont., railway car plant, according to a federal government source. Two major contracts in Ontario — for the Toronto Transit Commission streetcars and Metrolinx GO Transit rail cars — are slated to halt by the end of the year. Local union president Dominic Pasqualino said he fears more job losses are on the horizon beyond the initial 550 as the contracts wind down. “This business is cyclical. Things go up, things go down. But the thing is, it doesn’t look like things are going to go back up,” he said in an interview.

Now that Bombardier has shed most of its nonrail assets, the company ’s future is tied to achieving a high level of customer satisfaction from clients in the 28 countries in which this global ambassador of Canadian technology operates. With its central location in North America, Thunder Bay continues to

mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing its workforce in Thunder Bay : Bombardier to The company announced Wednesday that it was slashing 7,000 positions including 2,000 Now that Bombardier has shed most of its nonrail assets, the company ’s future is tied to

David Olive: Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing its workforce in Thunder Bay © Randy Risling Since the beginning of this year alone, Bombardier Transportation has won contracts to build train cars in Hamburg, metro cars for Delhi, tramcars in Brussels and train sets in Adelaide, Australia.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN.ca or Microsoft.

It would be easy to get the wrong impression about the impact of 550 layoffs at the Thunder Bay operations of Bombardier Inc., announced Wednesday.

The layoffs at the Lakehead’s “largest private employer” have been widely reported as a hammer-blow to the Northern Ontario economy. And, of course, as a setback to the long-troubled Bombardier, parent of rail-equipment maker Bombardier Transportation.

Bombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay, Ont. railway plant

Bombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay, Ont. railway plant Bombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay, Ont. railway plant

Opinion | David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing jobs in Bombardier ’s Thunder Bay layoff announcement is a reminder from the company that there is a They might, for instance, demand that the company manufacture the component parts of its rail

News that a Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay , Ont., would lay off almost half its staff due to a shortage David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing Bombardier announced yesterday that there would be massive layoffs at their Thunder Bay plant.

The federal Liberals are blaming Queen’s Park for the layoffs, accusing the Ontario government of starving the city of new contracts, and threatening a 107-year tradition of railcar manufacturing in Thunder Bay.

And the union representing Bombardier Transportation workers in Thunder Bay has identified Donald Trump and the U.S. president’s Buy America policies for the deep slump in orders for the rail cars made at the Lakehead since 1912.

Related video: Which brands do Canadians trust the most? [Provided by Global News]

But none of that is quite true.

Federal Liberals blast Ontario Tories over looming Bombardier layoffs

Federal Liberals blast Ontario Tories over looming Bombardier layoffs OTTAWA — The federal labour minister is blasting the Ontario government over the impending loss of 550 jobs at Bombardier's railway car plant in Thunder Bay, Ont. Patty Hajdu lays the blame for the losses at the feet of Doug Ford's Progressive Conservative government, saying in a statement that Ford failed to deliver on a promised contract for the facility in her hometown. Bombardier Inc. is laying off half of the 1,100 workers at plant after

Clark agreed that companies like Bombardier that want to bid on some U.S. contracts will have to Darby said part of the problem is that there are no real effective reciprocal measures that Canada can employ. David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing

News that a Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay , Ont., would lay off almost half its staff due to a shortage of orders had barely broke when federal and provincial leaders were at each others throats over who David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing

The blame in Thunder Bay lies chiefly with about a decade of mismanagement at Bombardier Transportation. As Toronto public-transit users know better than most, the company has come close to destroying its reputation for prompt delivery of defect-free equipment.

The nadir came last year, when New York City, a flagship Bombardier Transportation customer, became so disgusted by the company’s chronic delivery delays and faulty equipment that it banned it from even bidding on its latest contract for new equipment.

Also last year, Via Rail Canada handed a prized $1-billion contract to Bombardier archrival Siemens AG.

Some of that Via work would have come to Thunder Bay.

It is hypocrisy, of course, for the feds to depict the Ontario government as the heavy in Thunder Bay, when Ottawa green-lighted the decision by Via, a federal Crown corporation, to offshore railcar jobs to Germany.

Federal Liberals blast Ontario Tories over looming Bombardier layoffs

Federal Liberals blast Ontario Tories over looming Bombardier layoffs OTTAWA — Looming layoffs at Bombardier's railway car plant in Thunder Bay, Ont., are creating a political row between Queens Park and Parliament Hill. The federal Liberals and Ontario Tories are blasting each other in a bid to lay political responsibility for the impending loss of 550 jobs at each other's feet. Federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu says in a statement that Ontario Premier Doug Ford failed to deliver on a promised contract for the facility in her hometown that could have saved jobs. "While our federal government and the hardworking people in my community worked to save jobs at the Bombardier plant, Doug Ford sat on his hands and made empty promises.

Opinion | David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing jobs in Thunder Bay . Ford noted that Ontario conducts “The problem that was raised by Bombardier was about the Buy America Act,” Legault told reporters. “They had an important contract in the U.S

Bombardier Inc. says it intends to appeal a Brazilian administrative tribunal ruling that concluded the railway car manufacturer Bombardier to lay off half the 1,100 workers at Thunder Bay , Ont. railway plant. David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing

Queen’s Park, by contrast, has spent months trying to scare up work for the facility in Thunder Bay. But as Torontonians also well know, the entire GTA public-transit system, inner city and regional, has been in upheaval as Premier Doug Ford has struggled to reorganize it — to what purpose and in what way remains unclear.

Until Ford’s plans are resolved, Queen’s Park — chief buyer of BT Thunder Bay’s output — won’t be placing sizable orders.

Pinning the blame on Trump doesn’t hold water either. The truth is, the U.S.’s Buy America practices pre-date the current president by decades. Their existence when Bombardier secured its first U.S. rail contract, in the 1980s, required the Montreal company to build those cars at a new assembly plant in New York state.

That is the nature of the rail-equipment business worldwide. Products are built as close to the customer as possible.

The good news is that Bombardier’s recent efforts to turn its railcar division around seem to be working.

Since the beginning of this year alone, the company has won contracts to build train cars in Hamburg, metro cars for Delhi, tramcars in Brussels and train sets in Adelaide, Australia.

The political blame game won’t save Bombardier jobs

The political blame game won’t save Bombardier jobs With Ontario Premier Doug Ford and federal Labour Minister Patty Hajdu pointing fingers at each other over hundreds of layoffs at the Bombardier plant in Thunder Bay, one had to turn to others to hear any sense at all. Toronto Mayor John Tory came through with the hard truth that the core problem at Bombardier — no new big orders coming in — doesn’t seem to be Ottawa’s fault or Ontario’s fault so much as Bombardier’s fault. “We can’t just do business with them because we feel badly about the workers,” Tory said on Wednesday. “We care about that deeply, but we have to make sure they’re going to deliver a quality product on time and on budget to us.

David Olive : Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing The political blame game won’t save Bombardier Bombardier will carry out the preparatory work to start the second final assembly line once the partnership is approved.

Company mismanagement is the real reason Bombardier is slashing jobs in Thunder Bay . Resolute Forest Products is a global leader in the forest products industry offering a rewarding and safe work environment with opportunities and challenges that will help grow your skills.

Bombardier has just won preferred-bidder status for a $4.5-billion monorail in Cairo. And Bombardier Transportation will perform the first overhaul of train cars in the Eurotunnel’s 25-year history — cars also originally built by Bombardier.

By now, there is enough substance to the company’s turnaround to believe that Bombardier’s Thunder Bay plant has a promising future. Thunder Bay is, after all, one of the oldest and best railcar makers in the world.

Now that Bombardier has shed most of its nonrail assets, the company’s future is tied to achieving a high level of customer satisfaction from clients in the 28 countries in which this global ambassador of Canadian technology operates.

With its central location in North America, Thunder Bay continues to be an ideal location for serving the North American boom in transportation infrastructure.

The short-term pain of layoffs, which may turn out to be temporary, is a legacy of a long stretch of Bombardier Transportation mismanagement. That malaise is giving way to sound managerial practices, and that gives hope that Thunder Bay might someday have a bigger workforce than ever.

David Olive is a Toronto-based business columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @TheGrtRecession

Are you on LinkedIn? Follow Microsoft News Canada and keep up with the latest industry news, career, jobs and tech updates. Connect with us now!

>
Read more

Opinion: It's time to reset your perception about Bombardier. Here’s why.
The following column was written in response to Chris Selley’s opinion piece of July 17, titled Why does Bombardier ride for free? Bombardier Transportation is a highly innovative rolling stock manufacturer with nearly 40,000 employees worldwide, hundreds of contracts on every continent and a backlog of $34 billion. In Canada, our products safely move three million riders daily, mostly Ontarians, thanks notably to the hard work of our 2,700 employees in Thunder Bay, Kingston and Toronto. We recognized that, for a global company like ours, the execution challenges and delays we experienced in Ontario were unacceptable.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 1
This is interesting!