Bombardier Aerospace to lay off 715 workers in Montreal area
Published Thursday, November 26, 2009 10:11AM EST
Bombardier Aerospace will be laying off hundreds more employees in the next few months.
On Thursday, the company announced that 715 Quebec employees will be let go over the next six months.
515 factory workers in St. Laurent and Mirabel, along with 200 white-collar employees, will lose their jobs beginning in January.
That brings the total of laid-off employees to more than 5,000 in the past year.
Union representative Dave Chartrand is not surprised by the layoff notices, but was not expecting so many employees to be shown the door.
"We were thinking more in the lines of a couple of hundred, even though one is too much," said Chartrand.
Bombadier blames the turndown on a poor economy, with weaker-than-projected sales of the CRJ-series of regional jet airplanes.
"Our customers are still telling us that we have the right product," said Marc Duchesne of Bombardier. "It's an eco-friendly product, it brings them money but they're unable to purchase them for many reasons."
Industry will bounce back
The company is still optimistic about its long-term future, and industry analysts predict 5,800 regional jets will be sold within the next two decades.
Bombardier is bullish on its upcoming C-series.
"I think the C-series is very much the future for Bombardier," said Karl Moore of McGill University.
"The regional jet has been a great story in the past, but it's going to be eclipsed very fast by the C-series."
The C-series is still in development, and will only begin to take to the skies in 2012, or later.
Bombardier said severance costs associated with the layoffs will be about $10 million dollars US.
Bombardier is the third-largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. About 13,000 of its 29,000 aerospace employees are located in the greater Montreal area. Its German-based transportation division is the world's largest manufacturer of trains.
with files from The Canadian Press