New Flyer Industries To Lay Off 320 Workers

WINNIPEG (CP) --- New Flyer Industries will lay off dozens of workers by the end of the year at its bus plants in Winnipeg and Minnesota.

The company will be indefinitely laying off 270 unionized employees and another 50 managers.

A union spokesman said about 130 of the unionized layoffs will be in Winnipeg, with about 25 effective almost immediately, while most of the management cuts will also be in Winnipeg.

The layoffs are being blamed on an anticipated order of 140 buses from the Chicago Transit Authority that was postponed in late July after the American city failed to secure the funding it needed to buy the buses.

The looming layoffs were no secret to New Flyer workers, who have been surrounded by company postings in recent days urging them not to speak to media, according to one employee.

New Flyer announced the layoffs in its second-quarter report Monday. The report showed the company lost $14.7 million in the three months ending July 5, even though revenue was up five per cent over the same period last year.

"Sure I'm worried, I've only worked here three years," said production worker Delon Bernardo. "For now, they say I'm going to be safe, but I don't know."

"It's unfortunate. A lot of these people just got hired on here," said Dave Hiebert, a unit chair with the Canadian Auto Workers. "We're a little disappointed in Chicago."

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