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UPDATE 2-Bombardier reaches deal in hopes of ending strike at Toronto plant

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(New throughout, adds details, background and comment from Bombardier spokesman)

By Allison Lampert

July 30 (Reuters) - Bombardier Inc said on Friday it expects work to resume at a Toronto business-jet assembly plant soon, after reaching a preliminary deal with a union representing striking workers.

Canada's largest private sector union, Unifor, and the Montreal-based business-jet maker said the two sides have tentatively renewed collective bargaining agreements. Workers at the Toronto plant were scheduled to vote on the deal on Saturday.

Earlier this week, a combined 2,200 workers went on strike at the same Toronto production site for both Bombardier's Global large-cabin business jets and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada's Dash 8-400 turboprops.

Bombardier's strong-selling Global 7500, which lists for $73 million and is a key revenue generator for the pure play business-jet maker, is assembled at the Downsview plant.

The dispute comes during a rebound in U.S. business jet flights from pandemic lows, as more wealthy travelers look to fly on private aircraft.

Bombardier's rivals, General Dynamics Corp's Gulfstream Aerospace and Cessna business jet maker Textron Inc are increasing production.

Unifor would not comment on plans to return to work as officials are holding meetings to figure out next steps.

Bombardier spokesman Mark Masluch told Reuters he "expects operations to resume" if the deal is approved by workers.

Unifor has scheduled a virtual ratification meeting with Bombardier on Saturday, the union local president told members in a letter on Twitter.

The letter also said negotiations with De Havilland are ongoing. (https://bit.ly/37oJSBv)

De Havilland announced in February it would no longer make Dash 8-400 aircraft at the Downsview site beyond confirmed orders due to weaker demand because of COVID-19. (Reporting by Allison Lampert and Shreyasee Raj; editing by Uttaresh.V and David Gregorio)

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