(La Pocatière) The union representing employees at the La Pocatière rolling stock plant in Bas-Saint-Laurent says the cars for the Quebec City tramway project will be made in Mexico.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Bombardier La Pocatière-CSN Employees Union says it has learned that their plant will only harvest what it describes as the crumbs of the project, namely assembly. The union is indignant that manufacturing escapes the La Pocatière plant while it is currently working to manufacture the cars for the Toronto tramway.

In its own press release also published on Tuesday, Alstom says that the 34 Citadis tramway trains will be developed by its engineers based in Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, in Montérégie, and confirms that they will be assembled in its factory in La Pocatière. The company specifies that the contract, worth 1.34 billion, includes the design and supply of rolling stock as well as its maintenance for a period of 30 years.

Alstom’s communication does not mention Mexico as a place of manufacture of tram sets.

The union assures that nothing prevents the Quebec government from forcing Alstom to manufacture a minimum percentage of the cars of the Quebec tramway project at the La Pocatière plant, or at least in Canada.

The President of the Manufacturing Industry Federation (FIM-CSN), Louis Bégin, recalls that despite the expertise of Alstom’s factories in Quebec, the manufacture of trains for the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) has been entrusted to the India in the past. At the time, François Legault, then in the opposition, denounced this situation.

The Union of Bombardier La Pocatière employees assures that the government of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) had made commitments so that the Bas-Saint-Laurent plant would have a good share of the contract for the Quebec tramway.

Pauline Bélanger, interim president of the Central Council of Bas-Saint-Laurent for the CSN, adds that the news concerning this tram contract is also distressing for a host of suppliers in Quebec. She recalls that the project is funded by Quebec taxpayers.

The union recalls that the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is Alstom’s largest shareholder.