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Union Deal Saves Some Bombardier Jobs

More than 100 Bombardier Aerospace employees will avoid layoffs next year after the regional jet manufacturer reached a job-sharing agreement with its union.

MONTREAL (CP) -- More than 100 Bombardier Aerospace employees will avoid layoff next year after the manufacturer regional jets agreed to a job-sharing agreement with its union.

The Montreal-based company will now lay off 604 workers next year as it reduces production of regional jet because of reduced demand. That's down from 715 announced last week.

Unionized workers at the facility in Mirabel, north of Montreal, agreed to reduce their work week to four days to save 111 jobs.

A federal employment insurance program will pay employees for the fifth day.

"Employment insurance has regulated maximums so it will reduce their salaries a little each week," said David Chartrand, director of International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

"It will reduce the salaries by maybe $50. That depends on how much workers earn because there are some who make more than others. It's a sacrifice that some inside the plant will do for up to six months."

About 60 percent of Mirabel employees supported the change.

The job-sharing agreement could be shortened to two or three months if jet sales increase, Chartrand said.

He said the 111 employees are very happy to be saved and recognize the sacrifices made by more employees with more seniority to preserve their jobs.

The agreement must be officially approved by Ottawa, which participated in a meeting to respond to questions from workers.

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