Bell Helicopter eliminating 300 jobs at Mirabel plant
Bell Helicopter is cutting 1,100 jobs around the world, 300 of them at its Mirabel factory.
That's in addition to the roughly 450 job the company eliminated at its Montreal-area plant last year.
As in previous years the helicopter manufacturer will be offering early retirement packages to employees who wish to apply, which could affect the total number of jobs lost in Mirabel.
“They want to have them where they feel they will be better used, for example it might be Fort Worth with financing everything relating to accounting. Procurement might be another area. Some areas will be with us, but at the end of the day, manufacturing, the output of that plant will be the same,” said Jacques Daoust, minister of economic development, from Quebec City.
Bell Helicopter has been hit hard in recent years by a drastic reduction in the number of V-22 'Osprey' military helicopters ordered by the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps.
The company has also seen a sizable reduction in its non-military sales.
The job cuts are expected to take effect by mid-summer.
Demand for parts and commercial and military helicopters has gone down, explained Karl Moore, a professor at McGill’s Faculty of Management.
“A lot of them are used for exploration for oil and gas, with the price of oil being down, that's down,” he said.
Bell Helicopter said while it had anticipated a dip in the V-22, it had also anticipated a rebound in the market, which didn’t happen. It’s now stuck with cost-cutting measures.
Moore believes the cuts could be the last for the next while.
“In some ways you do the big layoffs and hope you're done, but it really depends on the business and which way the orders go,” he said.