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Bombardier Inc. is closing its Canadian manufacturing plants for one month, longer than the shutdown mandated Monday by the governments of Ontario and Quebec, as the company races to limit the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Montreal-based company said Tuesday it will suspend all non-essential work at most of its Canadian-based operations starting Tuesday night until April 26. The suspension includes Bombardier’s aircraft and rail production activities in Ontario and Quebec.

About 12,400 Bombardier workers, representing about 70 per cent of its Canadian workforce, will be placed on furlough, which means they will not be paid but will continue to receive company social benefits, Bombardier spokesperson Jessica McDonald said. The company is inviting its workers to apply for employment insurance, she said.

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During the furlough period, Bombardier said incoming chief executive Eric Martel and his senior leadership team will forgo their pay. Chairman Pierre Beaudoin and other board members have agreed to forgo their director compensation for the rest of 2020.

Bombardier said its chief executive and senior leadership team will forgo their pay during the furlough period, while the chairman and other board members have agreed to forgo their compensation for the rest of 2020.

The company is also suspending its financial outlook for 2020. It has already cut all discretionary spending but said it continues to work on closing its planned asset sales and is pursuing “additional measures to enhance liquidity.”

On Monday, Quebec and Ontario ordered all non-essential businesses to close by the end of the day on Tuesday to limit the spread of COVID-19. Quebec ordered a three-week pause, while Ontario ordered a pause of at least two weeks.

Bombardier employs thousands of workers in Canada. It tallied revenue last year of US$15.8-billion.


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