Bombardier announced today it will lay off 1,700 employees in its aerospace division, mostly in Montreal.
The company made the announcement in an internal memo to employees, which said affected staff would be notified in the next few weeks. The restructuring is reportedly aimed at cutting costs as the manufacturer deals with multiple delays of two new aircraft.
"We've been managing our costs over the past year and this is something we need to do now to continue to manage the business prudently," spokeswoman Haley Dunne told CP24 today.
According Machinists union spokesman Dave Chartrand, the positions being cut include 300 contractors, hundreds of engineers, about 120 temporary employees and others hired to work on special projects.
"There are guys that will be recalled but for now, between the programs that have been slowed down and the CSeries, there is a period where there will be a little less work," Chartrand said in an interview.
The transportation company, which is the world's third larget airplane manufacturer, has invested billions of dollars in new aircraft programs such as the CSeries airline jet, which it recently announced would be delayed several months to late 2015.
The layoffs represent six per cent of the workforce at Bombardier Aerospace, one of the company's two main divisions. About 1,100 of 22,200 Bombardier Aerospace employees in Canada will be affected, with another 600 positions cut in the U.S out of a workforce of 5,700.