Unite and Unifor reps meeting Bombardier CEO Alain Bellemare in Montreal
Unite will highlight that 22,000 US jobs are involved in C Series production, tariffs will only damage all workers
December 14th: A delegation from Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union, Unite will take the fight for Northern Ireland Bombardier jobs to the heart of US administration today when they meet with political representatives in Washington, including Congressmen and the Senate House Foreign Relations Committee.
The Unite group including Bombardier workplace reps, Noel Gibson and George Burnside, regional industrial officer, Susan Fitzgerald and Unite assistant general secretary, Steve Turner, will raise concerns that the 300 per cent tariffs proposed by the US commerce department on imports of the company’s C-Series are not simply unjustifiable but will lead to a crippling impact on Northern Ireland’s economy.
More than 4,000 workers are employed by Bombardier at five production sites in Northern Ireland. Plans were for more than 60 per cent of that workforce to be employed on C-series production in the next five years.
Import duties on the scale proposed would effectively shut-out Bombardier’s C-Series from the US airline market – currently the largest in the world – and undermine the economics of Bombardier retaining a footprint in Northern Ireland.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner, set out what he hoped to communicate: “Since our arrival in Montreal on Sunday we have met with trade unionists from across the aerospace sector, including Boeing itself, and there is a common understanding that the case being brought forward by Boeing and backed by the US administration will only damage workers across the board.
“Workers are caught in the crossfire of a senseless and meritless case. We will not sit idly by and watch the destruction of a leading edge product built by a world class workforce in Northern Ireland.
“I will be impressing upon US politicians we meet that Boeing has suffered no loss from the C-Series and is unlikely to do so in the future, they didn’t bid for the contract to supply Delta Airlines they are complaining of and don’t even make an aircraft in the same seating class. Continue reading