Canadian transit producer Bombardier to put off 5,000 staff

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Montreal-based Bombardier, a multinational maker of airplanes and mass transportation equipment, said Thursday it will fire 5,000 workers, about 7 percent of its workforce.

The company “has launched a company-wide restructuring initiative focused on optimizing production and management processes, flattening management structures and further reducing indirect costs,” it said in a media release.

“Collectively, these actions will result in a reduction of approximately 5,000 positions across the organization over the next 12 to 18 months, leading to annualized savings of approximately $250 million at full run rate, which we expect by 2021,” it added.

The company, with 69,600 employees, did not provide details about where the layoffs would occur. Bombardier says it has “production and engineering sites in 28 countries across the segments of Transportation, Business Aircraft, Commercial Aircraft and Aerostructures and Engineering Services.”

Bombardier also reported it would sell some of its non-core assets, which it hopes will generate about $900 million.

A large part of that revenue will come from the sale of its flight and technical training activities.

The interim leader of the Quebec-based political organization Parti Quebecois, Pascal Berube, tweeted, that the announcement was a “catastrophe.”

According to a report in Canadian newspaper The Province, most of the layoffs will be in the province of Quebec. Company workers were frustrated by the lack of information, it added.

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