Bombardier 'must' cut 280 jobs in Northern Ireland

Unite the Union say 280 jobs will go at Bombardier in Northern Ireland.
Unite the Union say 280 jobs will go at Bombardier in Northern Ireland.

Canadian aerospace company, Bombardier, has said it "must" reduce its workforce by 280 in Northern Ireland.

A spokesperson for Bombardier said all of the affected employees will receive help and support during the process.

‘"Following the 7,500 global workforce reductions announced by Bombardier Inc last October, we continue to review our manpower requirements in Belfast and regret to confirm that we must reduce our workforce levels by around 280. Those impacted will be functional support personnel, including managers and professional staff.

"We acknowledge the impact this will have on our workforce and their families and we continue to explore opportunities to help mitigate the number of compulsory redundancies However, we need to continue to cut costs and improve the efficiency of our operations to help ensure our long-term competitiveness."

Davy Thompson, Unite Regional Coordinating Officer, on behalf of the Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions, expressed his acute disappointment with news that a further 280 job losses would be brought forward.

“Unite is very disappointed with this devastating news. Only last month management announced ninety-five redundancies and highlights our concerns that the Airbus agreement secured in the last fortnight has not provided any long-term guarantees to Northern Ireland workers.

“This news is all the more concerning as it comes despite management pronouncement that the Airbus acquisition of a 50.01% stake in the C Series programme might result in a potential doubling of production on site. Unite has highlighted the fact that Airbus paid nothing for this stake and that it will only come into effect in the second half of 2018, means that the deal, while providing some hope for the C Series in the future, has made little to no impact on the financial pressures faced by the company in the present.

“The jobs to be lost are functional as opposed to operational meaning losses will be concentrated outside the main production lines but this will be devastating news for the workers concerned and their families in the run-up to the end of the year."

Mr. Thompson added: “Unite is calling on management to review this decision. We do not agree with the case being made against retention of functional staff onsite. This decision is premature given the potential for jobs growth in the C Series and opportunities for additional employment on site with existing legacy products.

“At a time when the unions and the broader Bombardier workforce in Northern Ireland are leading efforts to put the pressure on political leaders to use their leverage on Boeing and the US administration to rescind the 300% tariffs threatened on the C Series, it is very saddening that our efforts are rewarded by this announcement. Unite is calling on Bombardier to reconsider these redundancies and lift the threat to its workers in Northern Ireland at this time."