Bombardier lays off roughly 105 employees

Company hopes to bring them back when line is running

Bombardier Transportation is temporarily laying off a little more than 105 workers at its Plattsburgh assembly plant.

Workers were told the news Jan. 4.

“It was about 105 workers,” said Maryanne Roberts, a Bombardier Transportation spokeswoman. “Yesterday (Jan. 4) was the last day for those employees.”

The layoffs affect roughly 65 production workers and 45 temporary employees.

That leaves about 210 people working at the Plattsburgh plant after the layoffs.

The layoffs stem from quality-control issues with bearing housing castings that the company receives from an outside supplier. They are used in railcars the company is manufacturing for the Chicago Transit Authority and attach wheels and axles to the railcar body.

“We are having an issue with the quality of certain parts from a supplier and had to stop the line for metro cars,” Roberts said.

The company discovered and replaced the first casting with a blemish in late November.

But the problem resurfaced in mid-December. Company officials opted to shut down production on that particular line and inspect all bearing housing castings.

“Until we can inspect all those parts, unfortunately we had to stop the line,” Roberts said. “But we are doing all we can to get the line up and running again.

“It was temporary and unforeseen, and hopefully those employees will be back soon.”

There is some further hope for laid off employees, though, as Bombardier soon plans to start production on a contract with the New Jersey Transit Corp. for 100 MultiLevel commuter railcars. That could enable Bombardier to recall 20 employees in January and 20 more in February.

“This other line will bring some people back to work when we recall 20 in January and another 20 in February,” Roberts said.

In the meantime, she stressed that the company is doing all it can to get all employees back and working.

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